I just discovered this photo taken while location scouting for the MTA spot that I directed. Chinatown is truly a city within a city. This image reminds me of something that Woody Alllen once said, “I’m astounded by people who want to ‘know” the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.

The changing landscape of NYC has long been of great interest to me. I came across this piece about the Eagle Clothing factory space which is practically in my backyard. I hope this sign stays exactly where it is for a long time to come.

NYC public housing rules are now outlawing people from owning large dogs. The ban goes so far as to name specific unwelcome breeds including rottweilers, doberman pinschers and of course pit bull or pit bull mixes. I find this scenario to be problematic on many levels. Such measures amount to plain old discrimination and propagate misinformed and misguided views about these animals. On the very block where I live, we have several pit bulls that couldn’t be any more loving. I myself owned a rottweiler for fourteen years who earned the love of all of my neighbors. It is clear that these rules were enacted out of fear, but reading between the lines it is not hard to see that the fear stems not from the animals themselves but rather the owners. Some folks are terrified of young people of color and even more when they own a pet that has been unfairly portrayed as a vicious killer. Smells like good old-fashioned racism to me.

Particularly because I was born in The City of Brotherly Love, I am with all of my heart absolutely ashamed with Philadelphia today. It is an atrocity and an insult to Ben Franklin’s legacy of founding the first American library in Philly that the cities politicians would allow their public libraries to close. Perhaps I don’t know the political climate in the state of Pennsylvania well enough, but I do know that it is simply unacceptable to allow the greatest record of our culture and past to be treated as though it were so disposable.