Bringing together the two 12-year-old oddballs at Summer Science Camp, Ashley and Tiana is about the relationship between a middle class punk Jewish girl from Greenwich Village and a working class African-American hip hopper from the Bronx. (Is "hip hopper" correct? Should I have said "hip hop fan"? "Hip hop aficionado"?)
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I want to point my fellow New Yorkers to this article by Steve Wishnia in The Indypendent. The conceipt of the piece is that since Bloomberg is going to buy the Mayoral election anyway, then we shouldn't let him have it for the mere $80 million he's likely to spend on advertisement, but that we should demand the full $11.5 billion he has earned since becoming NYC mayor in 2001. (His "worth" then was $4.5 billion; now it's 16.) Wishnia portions out the 11.5 B on the MTA, housing, education, jobs, alternative energy, health, etc.
This is essentially a poor little rich girl story, about a plump, socially awkward half an orphan, half-Jewish teenager in NYC and Boston in the late 1940s. The book surprised me, as I was expecting a more hateable heroine. In fact, one of the things that saves her, is that she is not brilliant, not beautiful, and not particularly sensitive or insightful. She is just a troubled teenager, who happens to be worth a ton of dough but is basically emotionally isolated while having to navigate the death of one parent and realizing the other will never be there for her either.
It was obvious that Judy would never be idle until she was downed by old age or a terrible disease. And as for rich, she didn't have it in her. No matter how much money she had invested in AT&T or Eastman Kodak, no matter how large her bank balance, she thought poor. She didn't have the flair to throw away bread crusts and socks worn at the heels. She couldn't buy a ring for herself merely because she liked the look of the gem. She could never have owned thirty pairs of shoes, the way my mother did, nor spend $45 on a cotton dress to wear in the city in August when everyone was away. Judy thought in terms of saving, not spending, which I discovered was the big difference. Almost, in fact, as big as the difference between your German Jew and your Russian Jew. My mother was a spender, and she had such fun--oh she had an absolutely lovely time spending oodles of fresh, sticky bills tucked away in their Mark Cross wallet until she was ready to snap them out. p.205-206
APHA-New York presents:
Don Carli, "The Carbon Footprint of Print and Digital Media: Why you should care and what you can do about it"
Co-sponsored by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library of Columbia University.
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008, 6-7:30 p.m.
Butler Library, Room 523
Columbia University cataloger Alexandra Crosier has launched a local library events blog, Shelved @ NYC.
Alex provides annotated listings of NYC library news, events, and politics.