80 years ago today Radio came of age. In one terrible — beautiful hour the third rated program in a three network universe managed to entertain, terrify, and motivate millions of people by stimulating the imagination. If it happened today … Continue reading 2X2L Calling CQ
I’ve spent a lot of time in cities from Belgrade to London to New York, but last weekend in San Francisco I noticed things I’ve not seen in other cities. We were in San Francisco for a memorial service and … Continue reading The City by the Bay and a 35 Foot Polar Bear Made From Smashed Car Hoods.
We had a great time riding the cable cars in San Francisco. The California street cable car climbs Nob Hill, past China Town, the Mark Hopkins and Grace Cathedral. We rode it at night and the next day at dusk … Continue reading Ding, Ding, Ding, a Ding, Ding, a Dinga Ding. Cable Cars and Other Delights.
Frank Gehry’s Frederick Weisman Art Museum on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota is at least as interesting as the art it houses. From the West Bank, looking across the Mississippi it is a sculpture of stainless steel, … Continue reading Frank Gehry in Minnesota
Fifty years ago we weren’t sure. The Wild and Scenic Rivers act was before Congress and if it passed the St. Criox, the boundary river between Minnesota and Wisconsin, was to be one of the first 8 rivers included in … Continue reading Wild and Scenic, 50 years on.
Bases loaded, one out, a long shot to center right, fielded on one bounce. One run Sioux Falls Canary scores but with a great throw to third the St. Paul Saints turn a double play, third to second, inning over. … Continue reading “THIS is why we’re American… baseball.”
I was born in a magnificent Art Deco hospital in Jersey City, the Margaret Hague Maternity (named after Boss Frank, “I am the law,” Hague’s mother) Hospital. It was part of the Jersey City Medical Center. The Art Deco medical … Continue reading Art Deco Hospital
The first time I entered the King Street Station in Seattle was when I stepped off the “Coast Daylight/Starlight in 1973.” A couple of days later Suzi and I got on the “Pacific International” to head to Vancouver. The impression … Continue reading King Street Station, Seattle
My parents were stationed in Miami Beach before Pop was shipped to India during WW II. He was a lifeguard, PT instructor and made training films on the beach. My parents always had a thing about Miami and wanted to … Continue reading Miami Beach Deco
Dale Chihuly is a glass artist from Seattle. In the Seattle Center, the site of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair he has a museum and glass garden with fantastic glass figures set among plants in the garden and displayed with … Continue reading Chihuly Garden and Glass
My earliest memories are of Jersey City. I loved Jackson Avenue in particular because I loved riding on the Jackson Ave Trolley Car. I learned many lessons on that streetcar. It was there I first remembered seeing black people and … Continue reading Reclaiming Jersey City
When I was a kid I loved New York. My grandparents took me in to museums, the planetarium, and sights like the Statue of Liberty. School trips took me to concerts, plays, even the opera. With scouts and the Y … Continue reading Reclaiming New York City
I read the reviews and decided on the one play I wanted to see while in the New York area. It was “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath, at Playwrights Horizons Mainstage Theater on 42nd Street in New York. I ordered … Continue reading Christians of New York
I’ve seen the Yankees play the Mets before, but it didn’t count. The Mayor’s Trophy game was an exhibition game where the results had no play in the standings and a home run was not counted toward a player’s total. … Continue reading A Subway Series
The Beaux Arts Lackawanna railway station in Hoboken, New Jersey went up in 1907, built at the site of an old ferry landing. It was designed as an intermodal transportation hub serving trains, ferries, and street cars. Today there are … Continue reading Home of Phoebe Snow
When I was in college I became familiar with St. Paul’s Union Depot. I took Great Northern’s Western Star for spring break skiing in Whitefish, Montana. The Star was Great Northern’s ‘ “second train.” I couldn’t afford the flagship Empire … Continue reading You Have Built It, But Will They Come? St. Paul Union Depot
Evening on the St. Croix River on the Minnesota – Wisconsin border. As the sun gets lower the wind shifts changing patterns on the river and changes the reflections. I love the way the reflections of the Soo Line high … Continue reading Reflections on the St. Croix River
On our recent trip to New Jersey Suzi and I had to make a trip to Princeton. When I got to Princeton I realized that I was within 5 miles of the most sacred spot in Jersey. The thing I … Continue reading Martian Landing Site
It’s the post season, the end of summer. A couple of weeks ago Suzi and I went to a Mets game during the last weekend of the regular season. We arrived on the 7 train from Grand Central Station after spending some time in the City. We would be going home on the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station where we would catch the Path Tube back to Jersey City. We decided to get our train tickets on the way into the stadium so we wouldn’t have to wait on a ticket line after the game. The ticket agent said … Continue reading “Wait ’till next year!” The end of the season at Citi Field
When I was a kid I loved to go “Down the Shore.” Well, when I was really young, not too far down– as far as Keansburg, New Jersey to be exact. You have probably seen Keansburg. When movie makers need … Continue reading Keansburg, A Living Museum “Down the Shore”… But Not Too Far.
Growing up we could see the New York Skyline from the back window of both my grandparents’ flat and from our flat, although the best view was from Grandma’s kitchen fire escape. The Empire State and Chrysler buildings dominated the skyline. When I moved to Ridgewood the favorite spot for “parking” was on a ridge overlooking the skyline. Again, those two buildings were the focus of the skyline. The Empire State Building lost its title as the tallest in New York to the World Trade Center twin towers in the early 70’s. When the towers were brought down it was … Continue reading New York’s Deco Towers
It looks like a giant Klingon Bird of Prey has landed in the middle of the World Trade Center. It’s the skeleton of a new railway station, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who says the design is that of a bird being released from a child’s hand. Now, under construction, with welders sparks flying, it looks ominous, but I can see how, minus welders’ sparks, when finished, it could be inviting. The World Trade Center zone looks like Dubai. Construction cranes swing between impossibly tall buildings. One World Trade Center, The “Freedom Tower,” rises to 1776 feet. This … Continue reading New York’s World Trade Center in transition.
On our recent trip to New York, working our way toward midtown we find half of Broadway has become a partial pedestrian mall from Herald Square to Times Square. Broadway becomes one way southbound, the old northbound lanes are a pedestrian zone with tables, chairs, food booths and sculpture. Times Square itself a cleaned up, walking zone lined with theaters running stage version of Walt Disney classics. But Times Square revival preachers still see it as sin city and urge repentance in the middle this urban Disneyland. And Off Broadway, south and toward the East River I always enjoy … Continue reading On Broadway! (And Off Broadway)
Every night as a kid, after I was supposed to be tucked into bed, I tuned in my radio to listen to Jean Shepherd on WOR. A few years later, when I worked at WOR, I got the chance to engineer for Shepherd. Shep was always telling us to keep our eyes open. For instance he told me to stand at a certain place on 5th avenue, I would be standing on Murray Hill, which up until that time was only a telephone exchange for me. From there I could see the contours of Manhattan’s hills looking toward the Empire … Continue reading New York, Seaport