Peak Moments: Lee Morgan Edition

We all have have songs/movies/books/etc. that we love. But what about the peak moments in those experiences--the moments that stop the breath, prickle the skin, freeze the heart? Lee Morgan (1938-1972) I remember the first time I “got” jazz. It was “Ysabel’s Table Dance,” from Charles Mingus’ Tijuana Moods. At first, I only heard chaos. … Continue reading Peak Moments: Lee Morgan Edition

A Little Library of Prison Books, or, What to Read After Finishing “The New Jim Crow”

A friend recently told me he had just finished The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander's influential book on the racial origins of our prison system, and he wanted my opinion on what to read next. The literature on mass incarceration is extensive, but here are a few books that had a big impact on me. … Continue reading A Little Library of Prison Books, or, What to Read After Finishing “The New Jim Crow”

Adventures in Databasing: NYT Historical, Dec. 31, 1879

The following quotes are taken from a single page of the New York Times--page 5--on a single day in history. They were not "history" then, of course; they were simply "news." Under "AMUSEMENTS/MR. EICHBERG'S VIOLIN CONCERT": As a general rule, the performances of young violinists are of the most unsatisfactory character...Miss Chandler, a prepossessing young … Continue reading Adventures in Databasing: NYT Historical, Dec. 31, 1879

Offerings for Emerson at Sleepy Hollow

Emerson's grave is the least appealing of the bunch: a big, honking chunk of quartz, bearing an unreadable plaque, and almost literally overshadowing the smaller stones around it. The effect is not a happy one. I counted only 3 writing instruments, a few stones, and a piece of paper with a somewhat ugly design. It's … Continue reading Offerings for Emerson at Sleepy Hollow