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All Picks posted by Mary Staub
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Mary Staub

Having returned from my current home in New York City to my childhood home in Switzerland for the holidays, I’ve been struck over the past two days by the frequency with which people here ask me about New York’s mayor-elect Bill de Blasio. People here have a curiosity unbounded [more]

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Mary Staub

in Basel, Switzerland.      

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Mary Staub
December 19, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 17, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 16, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 15, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 14, 2013
At a New York City College

Walk into Hunter College of the City University of New York on the Upper East Side, here, and you’re bombarded with more sites, smells, and sounds than 42nd Street-Times Square during rush hour. Serving more than 20’000 students, and part of a university system (CUNY) that serves some 270’000 students, Hunter College [more]

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Mary Staub
December 13, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 12, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 11, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 10, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 9, 2013
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Mary Staub

    

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Mary Staub
December 8, 2013
In a Bird Cage

Biking past Sara Delano Roosevelt Park at the confluence of the Lower East Side and Chinatown in New York City this early Saturday morning I was reminded of many a weekend early lunch break I spent listening to the caged birds sing. I heard them there today again. [more]

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Mary Staub

I just finished reading Sheri Fink’s gut-wrenching book ‘Five Days at Memorial’, which delves into the agonizing decisions some medical professionals were forced to make at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina disrupted the power supply to that facility. Generators provided only spurts of electricity, [more]

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Mary Staub
December 5, 2013
Bridging Countries

With immigration-reform advocates fasting on the National Mall for more than three weeks now (a first group of fasters was replaced by others yesterday), immigration reform is once again at the forefront of national consciousness here. The debate, of course, revolves around ‘undocumented immigrants’. Pathways to legalization? Border [more]

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Mary Staub
December 4, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 3, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 2, 2013
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Mary Staub
December 1, 2013
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Mary Staub
November 29, 2013
Under a Hybrid Oak

in Brooklyn. 

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Mary Staub
November 28, 2013
On Thanksgiving Eve (?)

Reflection, introspection, contemplation, meditation. These are supposedly what tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, is all about. So how did the day become synonymous with giant pop-culture balloons where companies blatantly market their brands? Not to mention shop-till-you-drop Black Fridays which have crept in upon Thursdays. The more commercial, the better, [more]

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Mary Staub
November 27, 2013
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Mary Staub
November 26, 2013
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Mary Staub
November 24, 2013
Along the Hudson
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Mary Staub
November 23, 2013
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Mary Staub
November 22, 2013
Along the Gowanus Canal

The controversial Whole Foods supermarket along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn has gone from topic of years-long debate to near-reality. After more than five years’ delay (due to community opposition—traffic, artists neighborhood, upped real estate prices), the Gowanus branch of this ‘natural-only’ supermarket is slated to open in December. [more]

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Mary Staub
November 21, 2013
At the Forefront

Six months from today, some adults will no longer be able to legally buy cigarettes in New York City. Those 18 to 21. Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation that will raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. And the minimum purchasing price for a [more]

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Mary Staub

A little over a year ago, giant alien faces, hovering helicopters, googly eyes, bubble letters, Charlie Chaplin, cartoon creatures, hearts and swords and sailors and statements of a wide variety adorned the warehouse walls at 5 Pointz, in Long Island City, Queens. For more than 20 years, 200’000 [more]

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Mary Staub
November 19, 2013
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Mary Staub
November 18, 2013
By Way of Cowbells

Cowbells. In Brooklyn. Really? Over the years, I’ve come to associate the sound of cowbells mainly with one of two things. Cows. In Switzerland. And ski races. On TV. Cows, from when I was a child and would lie awake at night in bed with the window open [more]

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Mary Staub

Today, as is often the case, the sunset views from Valentino Pier in Red Hook, Brooklyn, were awesome; and, once again, the vastness of these views served as superb backdrop for some significant mental musings. We really should have a word in English for Gschlirkwolke such as these, [more]

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Mary Staub
November 15, 2013
At CVS in November

Walk into your local CVS drugstore anytime in November and find yourself bombarded with a tri-polar holiday disorder. Pilgrims or pumpkins? Turkeys or trees?  Wreaths or witches? Goblins or gingerbreads? Piled high in bins of reduced-priced good are ghosts and goblins, witches and werewolves, orange-and-black M&Ms, plastic spiders, [more]

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Mary Staub
November 14, 2013
In the Eyes Immigrants

My adult immigrant students of English as a second language recently told me about their first impressions of New York. Trees, clean air, canned food, shopping carts, fall leaves, low buildings, tall buildings, a lot of activity, and much, much more. Why are all of the trees without [more]

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Mary Staub
November 13, 2013
On the F Train

On the F train at noon, heading from Brooklyn into Manhattan…. ….a young Hispanic woman in her 20s in checkered rain boots (they predicted sleet) listens to music on headphones (audible beats), scrolls through messages on her iPhone, and nurses a Dunkin Donuts coffee…. ….. a young couple [more]

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Mary Staub
November 12, 2013
At Age 97

What does one wish for at age 97? Mary Anthony wishes to see Kyoto. Because it’s old. Like it used to be. Not like the rest of modernized Japan. (Mary Anthony has never been to Japan except on layovers.) Alternately, she’d like to go anyplace cold and old. [more]

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Mary Staub

Do you want an on-stage cushion seat? It’s thoroughly comfortable. It has a backrest. And they’re our most popular seats for the shows that have them.  A non-toxic, washable paint will be used during this performance and may splatter on audience seated on stage. Please note, the Brooklyn [more]

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Mary Staub
November 10, 2013
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Mary Staub
November 9, 2013
On the Beaten Bike Path

Free coffee! Free coffee! I used to see them maybe twice a year, usually at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Manhattan or mid-way across the Brooklyn Bridge. But recently they’ve been making more frequent appearances and show up on some slightly less-beaten paths. Today they set [more]

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Mary Staub
November 8, 2013
At the Library

At a small library branch, in Brooklyn, I see him all the time. Who is he? What’s he working on? A man perhaps in his late 50s. Or maybe early 60s. He wears a weather-worn red baseball cap, inscribed with NY. He sports battered sneakers. He dons a [more]

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Mary Staub
November 7, 2013
In the News

I opened the newspaper this morning to yet another story of an ordinary young man doing what used to be an extraordinary thing (in a public place). A 20 year-old man with AK-47 walked into the Garden State Plaza mall in northern New Jersey late Monday night, terrifying [more]

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Mary Staub
November 6, 2013
At the Polls

Inside the red-brick Brooklyn schoolhouse, you’re greeted by a waft of indistinct odors—Freshly brewed coffee? Multi-day-old sweat? Oven-fresh sweet breads? The rubber of basketballs? The menthol, camphol, and mint oil of tiger balm? At noon, at the polls, the atmosphere is jovial, casual, communal, congratulatory. At the top [more]

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Mary Staub
November 4, 2013
On the Manhattan Bridge

On the Manhattan Bridge, a steady stream of cyclists silently make their way to work at 8 a.m. on Monday morning.  A middle-aged businessman with toddler daughter in bright pink cat-eared helmet. Toddler girl securely fastened in rear bike carrier, nodding off.  Beard-sporting hipster on fixed-gear bike. Kryptonite [more]