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Tag: New York

Tapping into ‘Heroic Compassion’

Let’s talk about behavior and politics and our new world order. Not only am I struggling to find my place in the latter, but I find myself judging people’s apathy or – and this is key – their perceived apathy. I don’t know how you CAN’T be angry right now. I don’t know how you are posting little ha-has about your book or your business or sharing memes with clever quotes while the world as we know it is burning to the ground. Maybe I envy you? Maybe when the Great Creator made me and lined up my cells...

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Feeling Our Way in New York City

The first day of our New York City tour, I am on the top deck of a bus driving down Fifth Avenue past the Flatiron building when I remember there is a Kate Spade store coming up on the left. I pause for a moment to stare down from my high perch. Its founder has just died by her own hand two days before and it is still raw in our national psyche. I turn to Mirna, my tour companion for two days, and nod toward the store, taking a deep breath. Moments before we had been sitting at a traffic light, moving easily to Alicia Keys and Jay Z and their catchy ode to New York. It’s part of the soundtrack pumping into our ears. The next day our bus is crawling through Times Square at dusk. With so much stimulation in every direction at this iconic place, my eyes look right and fix on the marquis at the Hard Rock Café – “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Anthony Bourdain. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will forever miss his love for great food and travel.” Yes, that very morning he had been found after taking his own life. I first heard it on the radio. Just hours later I was on a bus riding past CNN and thinking about all the...

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Want Some Gingerbread with that Whine?

My friend Kathi and I had just strolled by the holiday-themed windows at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City and were standing across from the gorgeous and massive St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Kathi had just been talking about the renovations there. “Would you like to go in?” I asked. “Sure,” she replied. And in we went, talking as we entered about saying a prayer for peace in the world. We sat quietly in a pew for a few minutes. Then we paused to look at the nativity and walked around in back of the main altar before making our...

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This Nancy with the Laughing Face

As I handed my book, Why Sinatra Matters, to its author to sign in a Hoboken bookstore last week, he looked up at me, noting it was an original edition from 1998. “Is this for you?” asked Pete Hamill. “Yes,” I said. “What’s your name?” His pen was poised. “It’s Nancy … and I think you can guess why.” He looked at me again, this time with a smirk. “Because you have a laughing face?” I laughed as if to prove it. The truth is I’m named Nancy Ann after my two grandmothers, but my father likes to tell...

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Ceding Our Discourse to Terrorists

Three days ago Paris suffered a major terrorist attack claimed by ISIS. It has changed everything. Again. In New York and cities everywhere, we are back to hyper vigilant. What is happening? What are we supposed to be seeing that we’re not? I don’t mean strategically, but is there something writ large? There are people who are convinced that killing is the answer to whatever ails them. What do we – you and me — think we’re going to do to change that? The answer is nothing. We can do nothing to alter that thinking in radicals. So what...

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