Month: March 2020

On Lenox Ave

My girlfriend and I are holed up in Harlem, just south of its epicenter at 125thand Lenox Ave, a.k.a. Malcom X Blvd.  Since there are no delivery dates available from any purveyor until far into next week (I write on March 31), I’ve been going out to shop for groceries every three or four days at 7:00 AM, when Whole Foods opens its doors for one hour to customers 60 years and older, then lets the less vulnerable in to hunt and gather. There’s a police-style metal barricade that runs 50 feet west on 125thStreet from Lenox, channeling us senior citizens into a socially-distanced single file so that security guards can check our ID.  Once inside, it’s clear sailing–the aisles are bustling with employees stocking the shelves or filling carts with food for delivery, but the masked customers are few, no more than 20 percent of the store’s current population. Outside–a security guard has to let you out–there are even fewer civilians.  Used to be that at any given morning hour, dozens of addicts of all kinds would be gathered on the corner of 124th, waiting for the rehab/detox clinic behind Whole Foods to open.  Not yesterday.  Maybe three or four old guys waving canes, talking trash, smoking cigarettes.  The hallal truck wasn’t there, either, nor the tented vegetable stand.  Suddenly you can feel a lot of social distance...

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Donald Trump, Wartime President

Donald Trump, Wartime President Cory Stockwell   I very much wish that Peter Wehner’s recent claim, made in The Atlantic, that “the Trump presidency is over” were true: not only do I disagree with most of the president’s policies, but I also think that much of the strongest criticism of him has come from Wehner and others on the “never Trump” right. But while I’m not arguing that the claim is false – Trump may very well lose to Joe Biden in November – I think not only that it is far too early to make such a pronouncement,...

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Pages from a COVID Diary

March 19, 2020 9:00 a.m. In New York for little more than 12 hours. Spent the night in a near-empty apartment as a necessary stopover on the long trip with my daughter to collect her things from her room at school, so she can finish her semester living at home with us in Williamstown. The day’s new rules meant the woman who delivered our dinner was not allowed in past the lobby. I’d already tipped generously—combat pay for the precariat—but also asked her to set the food down, waiting to collect it until she’d left. After dinner, I took...

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