Central Park

When you’re in Manhattan, moving around over and under the grid on your way to and from work, or on vacation, you’re aware of Central Park, but not really of its scope until you see photos like this one. And I doubt that anything of this scale could be accomplished in a city again.

Robert Moses disrupted and damaged the lives of thousands of people in the implementation of his various highway plans in and around the city and has rightly been held accountable, but he did protect and expanded the recreational opportunities available within this incredible space. 


Greenwich Village, 1964


In many ways, the years 1960-1964 were a extension of the 1950s. Most photos and videos (and movies) of Manhattan show men and women in traditional suits and dresses, in the styles of the Fifties.

But Greenwich Village has always been an enclave within Manhattan where non-conformity reigned. While the people in this photo appear to us to be “dressed up” compared with people on the street today, the style is a lot more relaxed. It’s just a wonderful little time capsule, just before the culture and styles changed so radically in the late 1960s. 

Loft Living In Lower Manhattan, Before Gentrification


You may never have heard of James Wolcott, but the boy sure can write. Especially about New York in the CBGB days of the 1970s. It's a good analog to HBO's "Vinyl".

 "Loft living then wasn’t the luxury alternative that it later became with the rise of SoHo and gentrification with a vengeance in Tribeca and beyond, as lofts became synonymous with airy storage units of flooding sunlight, gleaming bowling-alley hardwood floors, and quirkily amusing, slayingly chic art pieces chosen and arranged just so as tribal taste trophies, a photo layout of a setup perfect to raise a super-race of test-tube babies. Loft living in the mid-seventies was still in its pioneer post-factory, rat-haven phase, the elevators lowering and lifting like a large, groaning apprehension (as if operated by Marley’s chain-hanging ghost from A Christmas Carol), the thick-piped plumbing still in its early Soviet phase, these industrial garrets too hot in summer, too cold in winter, but spacious enough to carry a bowling-alley echo.”


Excerpt From: James Wolcott's “Lucking Out.” Doubleday, 2011-10-25. iBooks.

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Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/XA4lz.l

Wombs For Rent

Here's an update to a Freeway post about women lining up to sell their eggs:

In a recent Wall Street Journal, Thomas Frank responds to New York Times reporter Alex Kuczynski’s personal account of hiring a surrogate mother.

Actually, “responds to” is probably not the right phrase -- it’s more like “rips apart.”

Thomas Frank writes:

"Surrogate motherhood has been the subject of much philosophical and political dispute over the years.

"To summarize briefly, it is a class-and-gender minefield. When money is exchanged for pregnancy, some believe, surrogacy comes close to organ-selling, or even baby-selling.

"It threatens to commodify not only babies, but women as well, putting their biological functions up for sale like so many Jimmy Choos.

"If surrogacy ever becomes a widely practiced market transaction, it will probably make pregnancy into just another dirty task for the working class, with wages driven down and wealthy couples hiring the work out because it's such a hassle to be pregnant."