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Roseanne Rosanadana
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That time of year again
Tripod in box

This is the picture I took with my iPhone tonight from the roof. Every year the searchlights; never forget.

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For sabotabby: The Battle for New York's Schools
Roseanne Rosanadana
(from the New York Times Magazine:)
Eva Moskowitz and Bill de Blasio are two liberal crusaders with profoundly divergent ideas about how the mission of aiding the disempowered should be carried out.

Eva Moskowitz of Success Academy Charter Schools at a Harlem location in June.

Credit Benjamin Lowy/Reportage, for The New York Times

One afternoon this summer, Eva Moskowitz, who runs Success Academy Charter Schools, showed me her senior yearbook. “I was the editor,” she said. We sat in a half-furnished office at the construction site of her charter network’s first high school. A buzz saw shrieked in the background. She graduated in 1982 from Stuyvesant, the most selective of New York City’s public high schools. “I got completely engaged in how to take this sentimental book and make it a much bigger project.” She fought to publish photographs capturing the political protests of that time — against nuclear weapons, against American aid to the government in El Salvador. To go with the pictures, she wrote a manifesto, concluding: “We do not live in a vacuum.”

Eric Maine
Everything I have heard about her corporate educational fiefdom is disturbing, from cherry-picking students so as to improve scores, to worming their way into City buildings rent-free.

“It took will,” she said about her yearbook triumph, in a tone that was only somewhat self-mocking. Moskowitz recalled, as well, Stuyvesant’s intractable failings. With an outrage that seemed barely abated by time, she described an alcoholic physics teacher who dozed through class, ceding instruction to an especially talented student, and endemic cheating on exams, caught by the cameras of her yearbook staff. “I thought it was my moral duty to show” the evidence “to the administration,” she said. “They were very adamant that they would investigate. They didn’t.”

At 50, Moskowitz is petite and favors tailored suits and spiked heels. She founded her first Success Academy, a kindergarten and first grade in Harlem, in 2006 and has swiftly created the largest charter group in the city. It stretches from the South Bronx to Bedford-­Stuyvesant­, with nearly 9,500 students in 24 elementary schools, seven middle schools and the new high school, which opened in late August. Most students are black and Latino and poor enough to qualify for federally subsidized lunch — the kinds of children the city’s regular public-school system seems all but incapable of educating. Fewer than one-fifth of black students in the city can read or do math at grade level, to take just one grim statistic.®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
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Rain, rain, rain
Roseanne Rosanadana
Yesterday (Sunday) there were a few downpours, and I got soaked in one:

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Eighth street and Sixth avenue, in case you're wondering;
the imposing building in the background of picture 3 is One Christopher street

I ducked into a niche [doorway with locked door] in the building where I was waiting for the bus, but it was too shallow. Fortunately my pack is waterproof—got to test that theory yesterday—and the piece of [vegan] blackout cake I was transporting home made it safely. (Half last night, half for breakfast.)

Before the rain, there was this:

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10th street and Avenue B

Of course, if I'd realized it was going to rain, I would have worn rain gear—Gore-Tex® hat, slicker, Sneads Ferry SneakersSneads Ferry Sneakers, but alas. No real harm done, and this was the only time this summer I got caught in the rain. Went home and dried off; no harm done.

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Go Topless day 2014!
Well, Sunday was a helluva day; it was Go Topless Day, a worldwide event. Go Topless Day is observed on whichever Sunday falls closest to Women's Equality Day, which is August 26th. (It's awfully good that it's in summer, and not winter! Brrrr!)

Women in New York City are allowed to go topless in public, but there are still many communities that prohibit the showing of [gasp!] female breasts.

In a truly free society, these pictures would be safe for workCollapse )

In other news, Saturday was the last day for C'est Magnifique on 9th street. After over 40 years, they had been rent-hiked out of their storefront on MacDougal street, and set up shop here on 9th street a couple of years ago. Sadly, business just wasn't enough to support the rent at this location.

This was a family-based jewelry store (since 1959!,) and Alfred was the third generation. That in itself is tragic; I hate to see these longtime family businesses dissolved, and it's happening more and more frequently.


Fortunately, Alfred will continue running his business over the web as Sterling Assault. The site is under construction, but we can look forward to "something quite cool." I wish him all the best, and I'm sure I'll continue to be a customer.

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Dental woes
tooth extraction
Well, last Monday [edit: it was actually Thursday] I had a dental appointment where I had to have a filling replaced; I was also told I had decay on the root of the tooth. (The end is near.)

But, surprisingly, I was admonished for taking selfies in the dentist chair; I've been taking selfies in the dentist chair since there was even a word for them! It's my unbearable curiosity that makes me do it; plus, I always carry a camera on me, so the temptation is just too great. Here's what I looked like Monday; they used a full dental-dam setup and everything:

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The student who was working on me—this was NYU dental—came back into the room and said, "You're not allowed to take pictures in here; please delete these pictures."

I mumbled that I'd do it after, since we were in the middle of a procedure, after all. When she was out of the room again, I switched memory cards on my camera. Sure, I understand the liability issues, and that this is student work being photographed, but I've never had any trouble about this before—not even at Columbia dental.

Seriously, I may have found my Halloween costume for this year; it's definitely scary enough!

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Now it can be told…
Roseanne Rosanadana

Yes, I'm a feminist; this pretty much sums up why.

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Happy Fourth
Roseanne Rosanadana
Sixth street and Avenue B

In this country, jingoism and patriotism come to a head on the 4th of July and we shoot off these dangerous and illegal—in the wrong hands—pyrotechnics to show our love for this country. (Wrap your head around that!) We are also instructed to call 311 with reports of any illegal fireworks being shot off. (Unfortunately, there are all these independent contractors out right now, even though they're clearly not part of the show, which is long over; it's after midnight.)

This year, the fireworks were shot off from spectacular Brooklyn Heights, where I walked a dog this afternoon; they went into lockdown mode after 4 PM, at which time no cars were to be moved. So I only got the above picture when I happened to be out with my dog, a couple of hours ago, from my neighborhood.

I walked a dog in Brooklyn this afternoon, and although I'm familiar with most parts of Brooklyn now, I decided to get myself a little lost so I wouldn't get back too early. This made an hour-and-a-half walk turn into two—we ended up going to downtown Brooklyn, Flatbush Avenue and almost to Park Slope—and was fun but I got a little dizzy with hunger—having only had a donut and coffee for breakfast. Just as we were getting back to Brooklyn Heights, I managed to snag my ankle in a tree well, and went down.

This freaked Olive (the dog) out, which is why I always keep the leash wrapped around my hand, as a contingency measure. I just had to explain yesterday in a text to Michael, who is Olive's daddy, that I have ataxia as the result of a car accident over 30 years ago; he had sent me a text complaining to me that I had left smudges on the walls of his new apartment. (Well, if you're going to require that I take off my shoes before I enter your home, I have to hold onto something; I'm not a dancer. Oh, and did I mention I hate texting?)

Olive the dog

Worse than the humiliation of the fall itself is walking around with a scab on my knee for a few weeks—especially in summer, when I usually wear shorts. No matter, I'll just rock those big band-aids until the scab chips away; this, I know, is a surface scrape, so it should heal pretty quickly—probably within a month.

Mulberries! Now!

One nice thing about late June/early July is that mulberries are in season. There are many mulberry trees around town; I'm always delighted to discover them. There's even a fruit-bearing mulberry tree in the Hillside Dog Park, where I take Olive some days. Although the tree (and park itself, of course) is right by the BQE [Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, for you out-of-towners] I'm not afraid of exhaust fumes settling on a few berries; that sure isn't going to be what kills me. The thrill of picking wild berries and eating them eclipses any danger there might be to it.

We didn't go in there today because it was a little misty and I even wore a slicker and rain hat. Overkill, but I hate getting caught in the rain and having my wallet soaked. And my phone, now that I carry one.

So it was a good walk; I didn't get to say it—Michael didn't ask "How was the walk?" when I returned—but honestly, there's no way I'd rather spend my day off. It would have come out sounding sarcastic if I had. Olive is a fun dog; she loves me and I love her.

That's the crazy thing about Aaron, to whom I said, "My dog's a better date than you!" Most dogs are better dates than most guys: they like to go places, they're excited to be with you, and they'll lick your face and gaze into your eyes. It's just the truth; there was no reason to be offended by it.

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It's summer!
Chilly Dog

My time of year. That is all.

Stupid ribcage injury and movie premiere

About ten days ago I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time, which was awesome; but there were a lot of people walking across the bridge, and for some reason I didn't see that there were park benches at regular intervals on the left [pedestrian] side. (Well, duh!)

About halfway across, I was looking off the the right, and stumbled into one of these benches. Worse, my breastbone connected with the cast-iron arm of it, causing me instant, searing pain. Worst of all, some [20-ish? 30-ish?] kid whose first language was evidently not English grabs me by the wrist and insists on hauling me up. "Stop it! Let go!" I shout and try to resist, to no avail. He's grinning like a maniac, pulling me up, and making the pain worse. I'm walking a dog at the time, as well, which complicates things and makes even less sense for him to do what he did. Even more horrifying: no one else around takes my side, to tell him to back off.

In what universe is it okay to grab a stranger who is injured, conscious, and actively protesting your supposed well-meaning advances? More horrifying, there are several people nearby who do nothing to defend me. Ten days later, my chest still hurts every time I breathe; I didn't go to the ER with this, because I know there's nothing they can do even if I cracked a rib—which I'm pretty sure I did. (They don't tape ribs anymore, because that puts you at risk for pneumonia. I had pneumonia when I was six; no thanks.) But the outrage that still sticks in my mind is that the guy wouldn't leave me alone. It makes me feel gross just thinking about it.

In other news, I saw the premiere of a movie Friday night that examines the problem of spiraling student debt. Ivory Tower is an important documentary, currently at the Angelika Film Center, that at least addresses this problem—although in an interesting slant, it presents Harvard as a veritable paradise.

Cooper Union is one school focused on in the film; in recent years, its 150-plus-year tuition-free status has been undermined by financial mismanagement on the part of the current administration—who now insist they have to charge tuition for the first time in over 150 years. This has culminated in a lawsuit brought by current students and alumni.

I recommend this movie to anyone affected in any way by student debt.

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