August 2011

Gone Fishing

MY APOLOGIES TO READERS who emailed to scold me about the slow pace of postings. (“A blog is supposed to keep going.”) I should have admitted this a full week ago, but I have gone fishing for a few weeks. // Francois Louis Bocion, "A Man Fishing" (19th C.) // Though not necessarily in the ordinary way. The ancient story Tobias and the Angel comes a bit closer to the mark. Often considered biblical, it is not. The Book of Tobit is part of the Apocrypha, a narrative collection rejected by the early Church Fathers. Continue Reading
Christo Puts the Wraps on Next Door

There is always time to take time out for trivia. Today’s non-event is Christo’s law suit against 433 Broadway Co. for putting up a 6-story building that ruins his view. Okay, I made up that reason. Officially, Christo—sole proprietor of Depaul Realty Corp., which owns 48 Howard Street, his studio since the 1960s—has taken 433 Broadway to County Court because, since March of this year, his new neighbor “has caused and/or permitted gravely unsafe construction activity to take place at 433 Broadway.” This violation “has affected Christo’s ability to safely use and enjoy his home and studio, and has put the safety of Christo, his guests, and the general public in jeopardy.” // 422 Broadway, NYC // Ah, yes, safety! Continue Reading
That Beleaguered Cross Again

JUDGING FROM EMAIL RESPONSES, the accidental cross-shaped form left standing at Ground Zero rouses great ire. All my mail has been sympathetic to the lawsuit against it on the grounds that the cross is not a secular symbol. (I never said it was. I said it resonated beyond sectarian distinctions. Quite a different thought.) It was erected “by CHRISTIANS,” one reader screeched. Some of the mail considers wariness toward Islam “defamatory” and, in the main, just plain not nice. For clarity’s sake, let me take these one at a time, beginning with the (Christian) origins of America’s enthusiastic sectarian religiosity. Continue Reading