Friday, February 27, 2009

In Love with Lincoln

A critical factor in the fashionability of the 19th Century is an over-the-top apotheosis of Lincoln.

Maira Kalman may be guilty, but a genius nonetheless! More...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Empire State Building February 26, 2009


Deflation: 1929 vs. 2009

Casey Mulligan argues that because prices rose slightly in January after falling for six months straight, it means we are not experiencing a deflation like that of the 1930's.

I'll wait for the Feds to revise the January numbers, thanks. More...

Facebook ad scams

I thought I was the only one who noticed that all the ads on Facebook are basically scams to get you to hand over a credit card number in exchange for shipping and handling a brochure with a get-rich-quick scheme inside.

Well, I'm not the only one. More...

New US Airways 1549 Animation

Still amazing no matter how many ways you slice it.


Times ... Square

New York may turn large sections of Broadway into a pedestrian mall. Part of the rationale is that by eliminating the awkward intersections where Broadway traffic crosses the major avenues, traffic will flow better. More...

Publishing Deflation: iPhone Store

Conventional wisdom declares that content on the internet is free. Period.

The CW said the same thing about music, of course, until Apple proved that the problem wasn't that people wouldn't pay for music online, the problem was that the labels made it really hard to do so (and that people weren't willing to pay much).

So now Apple lets you buy books on the iPhone. Hurray! Maybe people WILL pay for content.

The problem is that the same book that costs $24.99 in a store costs $4.99 in the iPhone store. Even taking in the paper and distribution costs savings, that price point is not going to cheer many publishers.

The main beneficiary of iTunes was Apple (and customers), not artists and labels. Here we go again. More...

My Most Interesting Shots (Today)

Every day, the photo-sharing site called Flickr looks through all 315 photographs I've ever uploaded into my account and ranks the 30 "most interesting." This ranking is based on the number of times the photos have been viewed, commented upon, and chosen by viewers as personal favorites plus some sort of secret criteria known only to Flickr.

Today's 30 are shown here. 10 of the selections include the Empire State Building and 8 others include either my (now-deceased) boxer Lukas or my newly-adopted boxer Chip. More...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Empire State Building February 25, 2009

Catching rays on a sunny almost-spring afternoon More...

19th Century Chic

Like many of what I think of as "19th Century Revival" movements, the so-called "new culinary movement" (of which a great Brooklyn example is here) is a mix of rather expensive 21st Century artisanal craftmanship and steampunk techno-romanticism.

While I love it, I wonder if this is a fad whose wealthy urban audience is disappearing (along with their wealth) or whether it's a new zeitgeist.

Whatever, I'm liking the beards that everyone seems to be wearing these days. More...

Charts of the day

Mark Twain said there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Well, these two charts use the same numbers to tell different stories about the "bailout" (above, from or the "stimulus" (below, from


Troubles at the Ace Hotel

So there's this new wants-to-be-trendy hotel called The Ace that is opening in my neighborhood on a dicey block that could use an injection of gentry. Woo hoo.

Then we learn that the building being converted is an SRO with many existing tenants who have been or will be displaced.

Uh oh.

Expect complications and fireworks. More...

The Corporate Farewell Note

The last two times I said farewell to a workplace, it was not of my own choosing and there was no farewell note. In October 2006 when I left Interpublic Media, there was no one to send a farewell note to. My entire division had been eliminated, including 95% of the people I knew at the company.

The second time, which was last month from Barclays Capital, the HR functionary who politely showed me the door told me that if I sent a note, even one that simply gave contact info, I would risk losing my severance.

But the corporate farewell email has blossomed into a artform of its own, even those headlined "So Long Suckas" at Google. More...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


People at Mardi Gras are REVELERS.

Never "partiers"
or "celebrants"
or even "parade-goers."


Even when the revelers get shot. More...

Empire State Building February 24, 2009

A month ago it'd be dark by now... More...

Solution to an age-old problem

Quite a creative re-use for a mouthguard, no? More...

S&P Deflation

According to Bespoke investments, 134 of the 500 companies that make up the S&P 500 are technically ineligible for inclusion in the S&P 500 index because their market valuations are too low.

To be included in the Index a company must be worth at least $3 billion. Fortunately, the limit only applies when a company is first included; it doesn't mean a company gets kicked out when it's value drops after it's in the index. More...

Chart of the Day: Housing Prices

When will the bottom come? What's the right price for housing anyway?

Of course there's no absolutely correct answer, but one of the things to consider long-term include the ability of the population to pay for housing. Housing costs can increase faster than incomes in the short-term, but in the long run prices are fundamentally limited by our overall ability to pay.

This chart shows an index of the ration between income and housing costs with 1987 set as 1. Higher than 1 means the cost of housing is relatively higher than it was in 1987, at least compared to income. By this measure the country is returning to a long-term average pretty quickly.

More interesting charts such as this as here. More...

DTV Transititon: Conspiracy Theorists

Last summer, as part of research I was doing when I worked at Lehman Brothers, I interviewed about 100 randomly chosen people on the streets of Wilmington, NC, about the Digital Television Transition. Wilmington was the first TV market in the nation to "go all digital" and we wanted to figure out if we could learn anything in advance of the September 8, 2008, switch date that might be of interest to investors.

It turns out there wasn't much. However, the thing that really surprised me was the degree of anger and suspicion evinced by the people we interviewed. Quite a few expressed the view - without our asking - that the whole thing was a big-brotherish plot by the Federal Government to spy on them. One art gallery owner in Burgaw, NC, told me, "honey, people here don't believe we landed on the moon. You expect them to think that there's nothing fishy about a government-mandated box in their living room that does nothing but let them get free TV?"

Well, it turns out conspiracy theories have a lot gas left in them, even if they are provoked by hoaxes like the video below:


Media Deflation: How Valuable is a Blog?

One of the themes I hope to explore in this blog is the deflationary spiral that is crushing the value of media companies.

It's becoming clear, for example, that the digital versions of traditional media properties get monetized at a far lower rate than the existing businesses. The New York Times, for example, makes about 7 times more money from a subscriber to its newspaper than it does from a unique visitor to A friend of mine who until recently ran the television business of a well-known public media company complained to me that "every business plan I got for our business was more or less a plan for a blog."

That's not an insult to blogs, it's an observation that most media companies are facing a future with far less revenue, more competition, and fewer employees than anything they have today.

Here's a list estimating the value of the 25 most valuable blogs/blog networks. The most valuable is Gawker, worth $170mm. Number 25 is barely worth $1mm. Perez Hilton, which is more or less the online equivalent of People Magazine (albeit much nastier) is #4 at $32MM, which is but a fraction of what People is worth even in today's market.

The list from last year had many of the same names and a range of values that was quite similar. basically many of the blogs had a lot more traffic this year but ad revenues per visitor have tended to decline to the net has been a wash. More...

Off the Beaten Path

At least for Americans, Colombia in general and Cartagena in particular are not exactly where you go only to run into a bunch of people from your neighborhood.

I gave a talk in Cartagena a few years ago and it's a remarkable place and well worth a visit. Jaunted is currently doing a field trip there. More...

Happy Mardi Gras

Today is Mardi Gras. In New Orleans they call this "Mardi Gras DAY" to distinguish the actual day from the celebration leading up to today, which is properly called "Carnival" but which nearly everyone in New Orleans seems to call Mardi Gras.

Today's a party because at midnight tonight the dour season of Lent begins, so traditionally today was the last day to indulge in anything forbidden or frowned upon during Lent, especially meat. In fact the word "Carnival" comes from the Latin words meaning "farewell to meat."

Mardi Gras immediately conjures up images right out of "Girls Gone Wild" but there's a lot more going on than women flashing on Bourbon Street for cheap plastic trinkets. In most of the city it's a family-0riented day of parades, food, costumes, and drinking until the streets are cleared at the stroke of midnight.

And the crowds appear to be back, with the largest attendance since the Storm in 2005.

Mardi Gras Day is amazing and it's breaking my heart not to be in New Orleans today. Fortunately, Mardi Gras will return on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. More...

Empire State Building February 23, 2009

Corporate Philanthropy Day More...

Monday, February 23, 2009

The World's Top Manufacturing Country....

...the U.S., by a long shot. More...

Chart of the Day: Bear Market Comparison


BarclaysWatch: Convoluted Bonus Reports

I received my full bonus, in cash, as BarCap generously offered me when it took over my contract from Lehman. I am also aware of many guarantees in my division, all paid on Feb 21.

Other BarCap people are in different boats. More...

Ritualistic Attack on France

Whenever American conservatives need a whipping boy, they ritualistically invoke France as if it is some sort of laughable socialistic basket case. In todays WSJ, Matthew Kaminski argues that California has become France.

This is ludicrous. On dozens of completely objective economic and social indicators, France out scores the US. It has a higher GDP/Capita, higher labor productivity, shorter work weeks, higher life expectancy, greater literacy etc. Whatever the problems of either France or California, France is hardly some backward basket case in need to a neo-liberal shaking up. More...

Newspaper Deathwatch

The Philadephia Newspapers co. and the Journal Register co. file for bankruptcy. More...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Empire State Building February 22, 2009

Reflected haze More...

Laid off? How bad can it get?

Very bad indeed. More...

Empire State Building February 21, 2009

6 second exposure with Canon Powershot SD870 IS More...

Unconscious racism

Are you? Take this test and (maybe) find out. More...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Amsterdam to San Francisco in 20 Seconds

More about this stunning short film here. More...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hamptons Deflation

They say the Hamptons used to be a place where somebodies pretended to be nobodies but now it's a place where nobodies pretend to be somebodies.

Perhaps deflation was inevitable but I like this idea of Hamptons 4.0. More...

Empire State Building February 20, 2009

Through the blinds More...

Deflation Overrated?

The jury is out, but there are apparently naysayers at the WSJ. More...

Rural Broadband Overrated

For many years various parties in the US have been wringing their fingers worried about the fact that the US seriously lags some other countries in broadband penetration. I have always thought the worry was over-rated since the US still has by far the largest market of broadband households and is pretty good about innovating on the Web in general.

The stimulus plan has money to subsidize rural broadband on the grounds that it will create jobs. Now comes word that perhaps this view is mistaken. More...

The Pet Wingnut

Every family has that beloved member who gradually reveals himself to be something else. Not something scary or something definitively crazy, but definitely someone obsessed with right wing ideology to the point where he worships Sarah Palin and wears the wingnut label as a badge of honor.

And why shouldn't he?

Anyway, mine blogs here. More...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Empire State Building February 19, 2009

A warm spring-like morning brings out the tourists More...

Insane severance

Do you deserve the $9.8MM bonus you were promised by Lehman Brothers when you get fired by its successor, Barclays Capital?

My bonus has fewer zeros, but I hope the answer to this lawsuit is yes. More...

Narcotic deflation

The price of cocaine is in freefall. More...

Baltic Dry Index

One of the small joys in the parade of horribles that is the global financial crisis, is the discovery of obscure bits of the international financial system that are obscure, boring, and utterly important to the well-being of the world economy.

One such thing is the Baltic Dry Index, a raw measure of how much shipping capacity costs. When there's a lot of shipping, the index is. When there isn't, the index collapses.

The sky-is-falling interpretation says the index is down more than 90% since last May. The glimmr-of hope interpretation is that the index is up a lot this year so far.

Hmm. More...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Empire State Building February 18, 2009

Into the mist

LiveLeaking the (Almost) End of the World is a YouTube-ish service that specializes in shocking and/or prurient videos that "cannot be shown" elsewhere for the sake of the children.

Well you don't need to be a kid to be scared shitless by this video from C-SPAN on September 18th, 2008, where we learn from Rep. Kanjorski that so mny people were taking money our of MONEY-MARKET accounts on that afternoon that the banking system almost collapsed.

At 2 minutes and 20 seconds into this video, Kanjorski claims:

"On Thursday (Sept 18), at 11am the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the U.S., to the tune of $550 billion was being drawn out in the matter of an hour or two. The Treasury opened up its window to help and pumped a $105 billion in the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn't be further panic out there.

If they had not done that, their estimation is that by 2pm that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S., would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it."
Yikes. More...

NOT DTV Transition Day

So today was supposed to be the day analog over-the-air TV broadcasting ended in the US.

Thanks to poorly conceived legislation coupled with utter neglect by the Bush administration, practically everything that could go wrong with the transition has gone wrong. So Congress, prodded by the Obama administration, has delayed the end of analog broadcasts to June and have made funds available so that perhaps most Americans will be able to get a coupon to subsidize the equipment they'll need to get digital signals to work on their old analog TVs that get reception over the air.

Confused? I thought so. I spent a good chunk of my life last year trying to explain it all to investors in my role as an equity analyst at Lehman Brothers/Barclays Capital.

I'm not sure a delay will make things that much better, but at least it's on the administration's radar screen for a change. More...

The Hair

I have only been in The Donald's presence once. Two things struck me: first, he's much much taller than he appears on TV, which is highly unusual. Second, there's no need to be self-conscious as your eyes are helplessly drawn to the hair. Relax, everybody stares in awe even if nobody but Larry King has the gumption to

Now the Trump Casinos are going bankrupt. Boo hoo? More...

Marc Faber: Fed Caused the Recession

My own opinion is that the current crisis was caused by a perfect storm of public policy, loose money, financial innovation, globalization, and good old-fashioned unbridled greed. And when I say unbridled greed, I mean the willingness of many individuals to take actions they knew were dubious because they were blinded by a quick buck and the fact that "everybody was doing iot."

Still, in today's WSJ, Marc Faber makes a fairly compelling case that the original sin in all this was the Fed's choice to keep interest rates relatively low PLUS insist there was no asset price inflation as a result:

"But because interest rates during this time continuously lagged behind nominal GDP growth as well as cost of living increases, the Fed never truly implemented tight monetary policies. Indeed, total credit increased in the U.S. from an annual growth rate of 7% in the June 2004 quarter to over 16% in early 2007. It grew five-times faster than nominal GDP between 2001 and 2007.

The complete mispricing of money, combined with a cornucopia of financial innovations, led to the housing boom and allowed buyers to purchase homes with no down payments and homeowners to refinance their existing mortgages. A consumption boom followed, which was not accompanied by equal industrial production and capital spending increases. Consequently the U.S. trade and current-account deficit expanded -- the latter from 2% of GDP in 1998 to 7% in 2006, thus feeding the world with approximately $800 billion in excess liquidity that year."

The whole article is here. More...

Greenspan: "Worst Recession Since Great Depression"

The Greenspan legacy shrinks by the minute, largely through his own admissions.

Full article here.

US economy since 2001 = Ponzi Scheme

This idea has been kicking around for a while and now we learn that the total wealth of the nation has shrunk to 2001 levels, i.e., there has been no net new wealth created by the US economy in almost a decade.

Read more here More...

Fed: "US Facing Risk of Sustained Deflation"

Fed’s Bullard: U.S. Facing Risk of Sustained Deflation

The rising threat of deflation in the U.S. economy means the central bank needs to take unambiguous steps to counter expectations of falling prices, a central bank official said Tuesday.

“We face some risk - at this point only a risk - of sustained deflation,” in an environment where core inflation is already running “at zero to slightly negative rates,” Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said.

[more] More...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eames miniatures and more

Miniature versions of almost anything are inherently exciting and delightful.

These miniatures of "important" furniture designs are no exception, although the word "important" is best avoided when describing works of art that have withstood the test of time. More...

Empire State Building February 17, 2009

The magic hour

Feeding at the Trough

The political process is inherently unseemly. As a consequence, reading the details of how the stimulus package is divvied up can be a little upsetting to purists such as myself. Should New York benefit disproportionately just because we're represented in Congress by pushy hard-hitters with seniority like Charles Rangel and Chuck Schumer? Of course not.

On the other hand, New York has been screwed by the Federal government for decades by pushy hard-hitting southerners with seniority who used our tax dollars to build countless roads to nowhere, so I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep over this. More...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Empire State Building February 16, 2009

Presidents' Day

Chip and Biscuit

See more of the madness here.

CO2 Deflation

Like pretty much everything else, the price of emissions caps is falling fast. More...

Rent Control

I rarely agree with the New York Post, but I really thought the fate of rent control in New York was settled 15 years through a measure that ensured controls would be lifted gradually over time in a way that more or less took care of existing renters more or less for life as long as they met certain income requirements.

Now the State Legislature seems likely to reimpose the laws as they existed 15 years ago and may re-regulate apartments that have been deregulated for all that time! More...

200 pound "pets"

Breaking News: a 200 pound orangutan kept as a pet in Stamford, CT, has attacked a houseguest of its owner. The houseguest is in critical condition.

Note to self: avoid crashing on the couches of friends with 200 pound simian pets. More...

Mark Cuban's Plan

So Mark Cuban has this plan to do what he can to jump start the economy and, predictably, it's 25% simple, 25% inspirational, 50% obnoxious and 100% irresistible.

It's very hard not to suffer from an overweeningly delicious schadenfreude every time there's even a hint that some aspect of Cuban's life is not perfect, complete, and gold-plated. He's clearly talented etc., but his home run was to create a company called in 1998 which he sold to Yahoo in 1999 for a pile of paper called Yahoo common stock worth $5.9B when Cuban promptly sold his shares just before the market crashed and they lost 90% of their value.

So, while if we were being completely honest we'd have to admit we sorta want Mark to flop flat on his face, but mostly we love this idea and we can't stop watching anything he does anyway. More...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Empire State Building February 15, 2009

Daylight (self-portrait)

We're f*cked: Euro edition

There's a lot going on in this chart, none of it good. More...

Comet Lulin

Comet Lulin should be a faint naked-eye object when it makes its closest approach to earth February 23-25, which coincides with a new Moon to boot. It'll be in Virgo and pass just south-southwest of Saturn on the 23rd. More...

3G deflation

Most of us mortals pay for wireless 3G for our phones and for our laptops on two separate bills, especially if our laptop belongs to our employer.

Well now, thanks to the geniuses at Gizmodo, you can connect your laptop to your smartphone and use the phone as a "free" wireless 3G modem and cut your data bill in half. More...


The International labor organization says global unemployment could increase by 50 million this year. More...

House of Cards

I haven't watched this 2 hour special about the financial crisis on CNBC yet, but it's repeating all weekend and blames, well, everybody. More...

The Million Dollar Home

A millions dollars does not buy you all that much in Manhattan, even in the Great Deflation.

However, it goes a lot further in a lot of perfectly nice places, which is somewhat comforting. More...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Empire State Building February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day More...

Put it on my grandaughter's tab, thanks

In 2003, Dick Cheney famously claimed "Ronald Reagan proved deficits don't matter" and, truth be told, for almost forty years the United States has lived beyond its means in every fashion and the bill has never come due. Even today, when the consensus is that the financial crisis has been driven in large part by innovations that have perpetuated the underlying imbalance in world consumption, the United States is able to borrow money at almost 0% interest so we can continue to consume more than we produce.

Will the bill ever come due?

No one knows, but clearly we are punting on the problem altogether and leaving it to posterity to figure out. Today I read an Op-Ed in the New York Times that basically takes the national debt and puts it into personal terms. More...

Predicting the Crash: BusinessWeek

This remarkably prescient commentary comes from a BusinessWeek article published in 2000:

"But to many sober economic historians, the current situation is too
reminiscent of the economic boom of the 1920s, when inflation was low and
productivity was high. Meanwhile, led by the new technologies of the
day--automobiles and electronics--the stock market soared. "There are strong
parallels, all of which make me worry," says Barry Eichengreen, an economist at
the University of California at Berkeley who is a leading expert on both the
Great Depression and the international financial crises of the 1990s. "If you
believe history repeats itself, all the ingredients are there for a stock
market-led downturn."

Flickr Valentine

I love Flickr. I love this guy's work on Flickr (photo by Aknacer). More...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Empire State Building February 13, 2009

A whole Valentine weekend


Not everybody is embarrassed to spend $5000 for a handbag.

"Real" luxury is back. More...

News deflation

"QOTD" from D:All Things Digital

"Google devalues everything it touches. Google is great for Google, but it’s terrible for content providers, because it divides that content quantitatively rather than qualitatively. And if you are going to get people to pay for content, you have to encourage them to make qualitative decisions about that content.”

Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal

I'm already mourning a future without a daily newspaper but them's the breaks. I worry for the future of the Republic in the face of the implosion of the value of traditional news gathering too, but I suspect the Republic will somehow survive and we'll eventually wonder what all the fuss was about. More...

Long bonds

Very interesting article in the NYT about a dull-as-a-doornail topic: Municipal Bonds. Munis are one of those invisible things upon which so much depends but about which very few people care to know. Unfortunately to get a broker's license, you have to understand them even if you never deal with them professionally. When I joined Lehman Brothers, I destroyed a summer learning the nuances.

Anyway, these bonds were issued by two towns in Westchester County, NY, 135 years ago to build roads. The towns no longer exist since they were swallowed up by the Bronx and became part of New York City. Still, the City has been paying interest without missing a beat all these years and is now prepared to pay off the bondholders - if any actually show up with the original paper bond, that is. More...

Twitter style

Twitter gets its own Strunk and White More...

Empire State Building February 12, 2009


The notificator

Tonight, about an hour ago, a Continental commuter plane apparently crashed near Buffalo. I know this because I got a "Breaking News email" from CNN at 12:12am (2/13/09).

However, there were tweets about this incident almost immediately. The first one I've found was this one from KeithBurtis who lives a few houses away.

That's a full hour before the story broke nationally. Keith's current tweet is that he is about to interviewed on MSNBC.

The local news (TV and print) were on the story in about 20 minutes and after less than an hour there's pictures, photos and information.

But for sheer on the ground descriptions of what was happening - street closings, two houses on fire etc, the color commentary and newsgathering on Twitter is far richer than anything you could get through traditional means.

I understand there was similar "reporting" in the Mumbai attacks last Fall.

There is an expensive news feed service based in New Jersey where some people monitor emergency radio and send out pages with anything unusual.

So much for that business model.

And, as Peter Kafka points out, the day is coming when someone is twittering from the scene of some disaster and in doing so broadcasts the last minutes of his life. More...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The bicenntennial of Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln would have been 200 today. I love this photograph taken in February 1865, about two months before he was shot on April 15th, which is one of many Lincoln photographs from the commons at Flickr.

The hair style is not the usual Lincoln, but men's hairstyles were extremely fluid in the middle of the 19th Century as the fashion evolved from the clean-shaven Federal era to the long-flowing beards of the gilded age.

What strikes me here is that this particular haircut/beard wouldn't look out of place on any young man in New York City in 2009. So contemporary. More...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chart of the Day

I was registered by the NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) and launched coverage of the Media and Entertainment sector at Lehman Brothers) right around number 13.



Web 3.0

If Web 1.0 was the familiar mainly one-way publishing/e-commerce medium that we all grew up with, and Web 2.0 is the emerging social/community sort of interactive sites and businesses with lots of user-generated content, then what will Web 3.0 be?

No one knows, but my bet is on functionality that merges the web with the real world in seamless and meaningful fashions. Imagine an iPhone that can recognize people you know as you encounter them and tell you stuff about them you may not immediately recall, or a car windshield that displays an unobtrusive signal when your directions say you should make a turn.

Well, at TED, a clutzy version of one such hybrid device was displayed. More...

Empire State Building February 11, 2009

Classic white

Open the borders

This idea for stimulating the US economy is so obvious yet so radical it is bound to be considered a joke.

The problem? The US has too many houses with too few people to buy them.
The solution? Grant a visa to any foreign national who can buy (and preferably live in) a house. If you are worried about such people becoming indigent wards of the stae, consider that if they have the savings to buy property and the verve to pick up and move here, then that's not so likely.

Thomas Friedman describes the plan here. More...

Pizza Deflation

For the first time in years, the cost of a slice of pizza in my neighborhood is going down.


Boeing 747

The first Boeing 747 made it's first flight forty years ago on February 9, 1968. It's arrival heralded a reinvention of global tourism and migration. More...


Bonuses are not what folks were hoping for, and probably not what they had been told in December.... More...

Hawk in Madison Square Park

Some of these were picked up on Curbed.


The Founders

In this President's Day season, as on the 4th of July, I often reflect on the amazing institution the Founders of the United States were create against rather long odds. We are in the midst of of a great revival in interest in the Founders, as exemplified by a number of excellent books (mostly biographies) that have come to light in recent years. Some of my favorites include:

David McCullough's biography of John Adams, which won the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 2001, rescued the reputation of the most obscure of the Founders and vividly illustrated the remarkable career of a long-lived man (Adams died at age 90) and his equally talented family. More...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Empire State Building February 10, 2009

Westminster Kennel Club colors