Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SOL Tuesday: Politics in New York City

Today is Primary Day in New York City for local races. As I went to vote (for candidates for mayor, public advocate, and city council) at a local public school, I passed a table surrounded by volunteers for the incumbent, Mark Levine, and a few feet away a large sign and a young black man handing out campaign cards for the challenger, Thomas Lopez-Pierre.
            After I voted, I stopped by the young man to ask him some questions about Lopez-Pierre. The candidate’s campaign materials all note that, first of all, he is Christian. This struck me as an odd way for a New York City candidate to identify himself, though many who live in the district are Hispanic, and probably Christian. Another campaign handout listed campaign contributions he had received from landlords or other real estate figures, but the photographs show obviously Jewish men wearing yarmulkes. Lopez-Pierre even explicitly claims, on his Web site, that Mark Levine is supported by “greedy landlords,” again showing those men in yarmulkes.
            I had to find out what this young man thought of the overtly anti-Semitic campaign of the man whose campaign cards he was passing out. But after I’d said I wanted to ask him some questions, he explained that he probably wouldn’t be able to answer them well. You see, he had just arrived in New York a couple of weeks ago from Mississippi and had seen this job listed on Craig’s List. Aha, he was being paid; Lopez-Pierre didn’t even have enough, if any, volunteers to hand out his materials. When the young man heard what my questions were about, he was concerned and said if he’d known this, he wouldn’t have taken the job.
            We then had a nice conversation. His name is Jonathan, he’s a photographer, and wants to finish his art degree. He’s come to New York because his girlfriend is attending the New School. I welcomed him to New York, and we shook hands, smiled, and exchanged names. Maybe this encounter will even get Jonathan interested in politics in his new home.
It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

SOL Tuesday: Museum Play

            For years, my dentist has been a couple of blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, so whenever I went to see her, I always stopped in, if only to sit in the sculpture garden for a little while. Then she sold her practice, and today I saw a new dentist recommended by a friend.
            The new dentist nowhere near midtown, but his office is very near the subway that can take me to midtown, just a couple of blocks from MoMA. Today because a warm, sunny day, it seemed a perfect day to continue the tradition of MoMA visit after dentist.
            While I sat in the warmth, I noticed a little boy, maybe four years old, making his way up short marble stairs. On his second trip up the steps, he noticed a marble slope right next to the stairs and took the last couple of stops on that slope. This became a new game for him, trying to walk, very carefully, down the slope and trying to walk all the way up. Mostly he failed, but he kept at it.
            His mother noticed, took a picture, sat and watched him. Then he discovered that he could slide down on his belly. That was easy—so he did it, over and over. Until the museum guard came over to say he couldn’t do it anymore.
            The boy was upset. His mother pointed out that it was for his safety—if he got hurt, it would be the museum’s fault. I’m not sure he really understood. They walked off. And I wish I’d taken a picture so I could plug it in here. 

It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.