“How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World”

December 29, 2012

I just started reading “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World” by Harry Browne. So far, so good. A quote:

In any area of life, you have a natural monopoly of the unique combination of traits that you possess. The only effective way to rule out competition is to find the market that wants your traits above all others. And you’ll find it and keep it by having the courage to stand up for what you are. When you find that market, you’ll wonder why you ever restricted yourself in order to get along with those who were incompatible with you.

 

The Time Element of Romney’s 47% Comment

November 25, 2012

This is old news at this point, but one thing that really bothered me about Romney’s 47% comment was that I didn’t hear any discussion of how income and access to government funds change throughout one’s life.

For example, on the tax side, plenty of people do not have to pay federal income tax because they’re very young and simply don’t make very much money, or they’re old and retired.

On the benefits side, pretty much the entire population will be eligible for social security and medicare at some point (to say nothing of other federal benefits. So when Romney criticized 47% of Americans for supposedly not paying income taxes and leeching off of the government, he was really criticizing 100% of Americans, since everyone other than a tiny sliver of the population will a.) pay income taxes and/or (probably “and”) b.) receive federal benefits. I would have liked to see the Democrats exploit this fact in more campaign ads or op-eds, and am surprised that they didn’t. Or did they, and I just missed it? I read a lot of liberal blogs and don’t recall seeing much discussion of it.

This post was prompted by a comment I saw in Scott Sumner’s excellent blog, “The Money Illusion:”

If ever there was a political party that deserved to lose an election, it was the brain dead GOP of 2012.  The party that thinks the fact that 47% of the public pays no income taxes means that 47% of the public pays no income taxes EVER.  (Do these people not have 19 year olds in college, or 75 year old parents on Social Security?)

Now the brain dead GOP has shown its skill at high stakes poker by countering Obama’s offer of a 39.6% high rate, with a counter-offer of 41.0%.  Let’s put aside the fact that the brain dead GOP doesn’t even seem to know that Obama’s actually proposing a 43.4% top rate, which means the brain dead GOP counter is 44.8%, or 53% in Sweden err California.

 

The Election

November 8, 2012

I voted for Gary Johnson, but I’m glad that Obama won this thing.

The whole “Obama is a socialist” meme always perplexed me, as I’m not convinced that McCain or anyone else would have been able to do anything too different over the past couple of years. Much of the spending to come through has been in the form of automatic stabilizers such as food stamps and unemployment benefits, and if a Republican administration wouldn’t have increased the debt through fiscal stimulus, they would surely have done it through tax cuts instead. It’s worrying to see so little serious discussion of long-term deficit reduction, but team Romney hasn’t exactly been forthright on what they would do, either. Obama deserves credit for, at the very least, preventing the economy from dropping off a cliff.

As far as Mitt Romney goes, I was initially quite receptive to him. He struck me as a pragmatic, center-right technocrat, which I assume is his natural governing style. His awkwardness also became very endearing after a while. As the months went on and we got closer to the election, however, I became increasingly convinced that he was utterly void of character and was willing to say anything in order to get elected. I operate under the assumption that all politicians are liars who will say anything to get elected, but Romney was just particularly craven in this regard. Other people, such as Andrew Sullivan, have chronicled the numerous lies that he spewed in the debates, often claiming that he didn’t believe in something that he only recently did an about face on.

If I thought that Romney was just doing this to get elected and would settle into being a enter-right moderate in office, I could forgive his flip flopping. But I’m not convinced that there’s any substance underneath it all. The comparisons to Patrick Bateman are not unfounded:

“

There is an idea of a Mitt Romney; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real [Mitt]: only an entity, something illusory. And though [he] can hide [his] cold gaze, and you can shake [his] hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… [he] simply [is] not there.”

Image

The Republican party is completely off the rails on many issues. When it comes to business and free markets I much prefer their rhetoric to what we’ve been hearing from Obama (I think that the “you didn’t build that” remark was actually worse in context), but in reality they want to spend just as much and give as many goodies to their friends as anyone else in Washington. It’s amazing to think that “tax and spend” is (or was) an epithet directed towards liberals when “spend and cut taxes” is much worse. And they’re of course very unsound when it comes to gay marriage and abortion.

The choice between wishing for a Romney win vs. wishing for an Obama win, for me, boils down to voting for a party that is somewhat competent and interested in governing versus a party that is uninterested in governing and nearly drove the country over a cliff last summer with the debt crisis. I have no interest in voting for a shell of a candidate who is willing to do anything to please a party that disproportionally consists of unhinged lunatics and is nominally lead by Rush Limbaugh.

I really wish that the Republicans were at least somewhat competent, as there is much that I don’t like about Obama: the drone strikes, the medical marijuana crackdowns, and the administration’s overall attitude towards business and markets. But until they shake out the crazies I think that the Republican vs. Democrat choice is one between competence versus gross negligence. I think that The Economist, as usual, summed it all up well:

“This election offers American voters an unedifying choice. Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”
– The Economist’s 2012 Endorsement

Some Favorite Paintings — Nocturnes

September 30, 2012

These are some of my favorite paintings–they remind me of being on the beach on eastern Long Island late at night:

This is “Moonlight, Wood Island Light” by Winslow Homer. I stumbled across it at the American wing at the Met a few years ago and was really struck by it, but then had trouble tracking down the painter on Google for quite a while afterward. The Met also closed its American wing around this time for renovations, so I couldn’t go back and try to find it again for at least a year or two.


This is “Nocturne: Blue and Silver—Bognor” which I just found at a museum in DC.

I’m also a big fan of the Dutch cabinet paintings (there are many at the national gallery here in DC), which also tend to make good use of light and shadows.

Moonrise Kingdom

August 17, 2012

On the 4th of July I schlepped up to the AFI theater in Silver Spring to see Moonrise Kingdom. Do you know how many people go to matinees on the 4th? Certainly many more than I’d expect. I also just watched it for a second time at the more accessible E Street Cinema downtown.

Wes Anderson didn’t stray too far from his formula, which I’m starting to think may be coming up a bit thin. Depressed, distant, orphaned outsiders? They’re here! Kids who act like adults, and adults that act like kids? You Betcha! Random quirky scenes to act as decorations for Anderson’s intricately arranged little world? Don’t worry, you can see Bill Murray both fiddle around with a kid’s motorcycle and make cryptic, shirtless threats.

Moonrise Kingdom is the newest model of Wes Anderson dollhouse: a very meticulous, self-enclosed little world that we get a chance to peer into. But it sometimes seemed a bit too cluttered. Too much cute without the depth of his earlier movies.

It did not tug at my heartstrings and overwhelm me with great scenery and music as Life Aquatic did, and it was not as heartwarming and downright fun as Fantastic Mr. Fox. The love story between the two kids—the guts of the movie—was really wonderful though, especially the scene where they’re dancing at the beach. It also did an admirable job of making me reminisce about being 12 years old, and then promptly making me rather depressed at the realization that I will never be that age again. But at the end of it, I felt empty. It doesn’t leave me with much.

I love Wes Anderson’s movies. I’ve seen them all, re-watch them frequently, and will surely continue to do so as long as he keeps making films. But I can’t help but be a bit disappointed at this point. He really isn’t moving the ball down the field; I don’t see him really progressing as a director. For now, that’s fine, though I don’t know how I’ll feel about it four movies from now if he goes on like this.

Fun with Half Marathons

June 3, 2012

I ran a half marathon last summer. Here are my thoughts on the experience:

1. It’s quite boring. I like taking 30-60 minute runs at home. I like getting outside on a nice day and jogging through my neighborhood, and exploring other neighborhoods. The half marathon was not like this. Diminishing returns set in quickly, the route went mainly through commercial corridors and along a highway, and it was also much longer than what I would say is enjoyable.

2. It involves waking up early. I hate setting an alarm unless I need to go to work the next day or catch a flight (or go fishing, possibly). HATE it. I don’t care what the event is; knowing that I need to wake up and do something at a pre-determined time on a non-weekday generally ruins the entire preceding day for me. Marathons require one to wake up before dawn and then be bored for 3 hours while running.

3. People seem to do it for a very nebulous sense of accomplishment. Many people obviously derive a great deal of satisfaction from running, and people watching the event seem to derive much satisfaction from watching/cheering. It’s all quite masturbatory. Runners run to feel like they’re accomplishing something, even though the benefits of long distance running are very ambiguous. Interval cardio or weight resistance training are likely healthier and provide much more bang for the workout buck. The people on the sidelines cheer to be a part of the runners’ accomplishments. It is running for the sake of running, and cheering for the sake of cheering.

I was also very surprised to see how many people came out to cheer. There were MANY people. Why in the world do people feel the need to cheer on total strangers for going on a run? It’s bizarre beyond measure. If a marathon came past my apartment, I can’t imagine having any desire to cheer people on.

The half-marathon I ran wound through a residential neighborhood. When I ran past, I saw a 40-something year old father frantically yelling and cheering. He even had noisemakers. His two sons stood at his side cheering as well, although less enthusiastically.

A few hours later I ran past that same man on the way back. He was still cheering loudly, and his two sons sitting in the grass, playing around with sticks and staring at the sky. His voice was hoarse. Why was he doing this? What did his children think? What should I think?

The best explanation for why people run marathons, I think, is that running is easily measurable. N+1 miles is unambiguously longer than N miles, and requires more physical output. A 3 hour marathon is more impressive than a 4 hour marathon. Just because it is easily measurable, though, doesn’t mean that it’s a particularly efficient form of exercise.

I don’t think I’ll be doing this again, though I’m glad I gave it an initial shot.

An Incomplete Review of Media I Consumed in 2011

December 26, 2011

84 Charing Cross Road

This is just a wonderful little book: a ~20 year epistolary between a New York author in search of rare books from a (very) British bookseller. Reading this almost makes me wish I lived in the time before the internet, when people could actually build relationships through letters, never having met. I encountered this book after I went to London last year and told my mother that I stumbled across the eponymous road, which happens to be filled with used bookstores. Apparently this book was a favorite of her and my father.

Boomsday

A young woman incites national riots suggesting that the elderly should be given incentives to kill themselves in order to prevent the country from being bankrupted by Medicare and Social Security. The further along I got in this book the less it seemed like satire, and the more I thought that it was a genuinely good idea. After a while, however, the book slows down and I found myself plodding through just to see how it ends, only to be met with one of the lamest endings I’ve read in a while.

Burn after Reading

I loved it, girlfriend hated it (“What was that even about?!”) Classic Cohen brothers flick. It was no “A Serious Man,” but certainly worth watching and very entertaining. I enjoyed the DC shots, of course.

Homage to Catalonia

Orwell makes war sound awesome. He seems to spend most of his time hanging out around his trench, dodging the occasional bullet shot by an inept enemy, and only rarely encounters any real horror. The lengthy discussions about subtle differences between various socialist factions get tedious, but overall this is a wonderful, meandering book that’s easy to pick up here and there for a few pages at a time. I finished this at the very end of the summer at a beach house in Virginia, and it made for excellent lazy afternoon reading.

I am Charlotte Simmons

My first Tom Wolfe novel. He has an incredible eye for detail. The college experience he describes here didn’t remotely resemble my own, but there are so many details—college parties, different cliques, ways of speaking—that he just nails. It’s a long read and rather melodramatic/incredulous at times, but it’s not supposed to be his best work. I’m looking forward to eventually reading Bonfire of the Vanities.

Midnight in Paris

Wonderful Woody Allen flick. It’s no Hannah and her Sisters or Annie Hall, but all of the standard elements of a Woody Allen movie (old music, pompous intellectuals) are there. And unlike “Whatever Works,” (which did not, in fact, work,) this movie felt sufficiently different from his earlier movies to merit a second viewing. I don’t think that people will be talking about this one 30 years from now the same way they talk about his more famous films, and I don’t think it will fall in the “Excellent but underrated” category with such films as Broadway Danny Rose and Curse of the Jade Scorpion. But it’s still a wonderful little movie. It doesn’t feel like he’s just phoning it in.

Radical Chic and Mau Mauing the Flak Catchers

Tom Wolfe makes fun of liberal elites (Leonard Bernstein & Co.) for allying themselves with the very people who want to destroy them (Black Panthers) in order to assuage their guilt. A wonderful sociological observation. And who doesn’t like making fun of elitist, guilty, urban liberals?

My Adventure on a Fung Wah Bus to New York, December 2006

October 28, 2011

The following is a true story about my adventure on a Fung Wah bus from Boston to New York City in late December 2006, at the end of the fall semester of my junior year of college. I typed it the morning after, and decided to fix up the grammar and re-post it from my now defunct livejournal to my blog. Many people who read the original livejournal version liked it a lot. Enjoy.

On Saturday I made my way to South Station in Boston in order to catch the Fung Wah bus to NYC, where I would then take the subway uptown and then catch the LIRR home. It’s a trip that I’ve taken countless times and can probably do with my eyes closed.

I arrived at the station early, and managed to catch a bus that left 30 minutes before I planned on leaving. “Smashing!” I thought.

However, there was to be nothing “Smashing” about the trip.

I was initially put off guard when I noticed that the bus lacked the trustworthy (?) Fung Wah logo. Instead, it was an older, unmarked white and yellow vehicle. Given some of my previous dealings with Fung Wah, I was unsure whether this should have inspired confidence or fear. To make matters stranger, the driver was not the familiar Chinese man that I was used to seeing on these trips. Instead, he was a tall, portly, middle-aged man of Eastern European decent. He wore a thin leather vest over his shirt, which struck me as both un-stylish and remarkably impractical.

I made my way towards the back of the bus and took a seat, where I found more trouble. Some sort of liquid was dripping down from the ceiling, with certain seats marked to let people know not to sit there, lest they get wet. “No big deal,” I thought to myself, as I took a seat towards the back, away from the unknown liquid.

At that point, a tall, lanky guy carrying a backpack boarded the bus. He made an announcement as he walked down to take his seat to my right: “Well, we’re going to be together for 380 minutes, ladies and gentlemen–let’s have a pleasant ride!” This was obviously his attempt funny or cute, although he failed on both counts. Rather, the only thing it did was reveal that he was almost certainly crazy. He reminded me of a more harmless version of Gary Busey, and from here on I will refer to him as GB.

GB reached up to put his bag in the overhead compartment, only to be yelled at by a young and rather sketchy gentleman wearing long dreadlocks: “TAKE YOUR BITCH ASS HANDS OFF MY MOTHERFUCKIN’ SEAT,” he exclaimed. Surprisingly enough GB kept his cool, while the sketchy black dude (from here on referred to as SBD) was clearly still very angry. Everyone on the bus was clearly irked by the prospect of spending the next 3.75+ hours locked in a bus with a mentally disturbed guy in dreadlocks and Gary Busey. Should we alert the driver? If so, what would he say? All of the previous Fung Wah drivers didn’t speak a word of English beyond “Sit down,” “We be there soon,” and—upon pulling into a highway rest stop—“Ten minutes.” I suspected the same of our current driver, a Chinese accent replaced with a Russian one.

The driver closed the door and drove off as passengers took their seats. Both SBD and GB calmed down, and we started rolling down the Mass Pike toward Worcester. It finally started to seem like a normal bus ride.

It would not be normal for long.

Not too long into the ride, SBD began rocking back and forth, laying down on both of his seats (hopefully his seats weren’t soaked with the phantom liquid from earlier—more on that later), and making strange grunting noises. Everyone on the bus was noticeably freaked out, much more so than after his initial outburst at GB back in South Station. He went to the bathroom a few times, while GB made various smart-ass comments.

Shortly after, GB rose from his seat and talked to the driver for a good five minutes. Apparently he coordinated with the driver to have SBD removed from the bus, or at least that’s what I inferred from his 911 call when he gave the operator the approximate location of a rest area/Chinese buffet near Hartford that we were pulling into.

As we pulled into the shopping center people milled about smoking and stretching, or going to the nearby Chinese buffet. General Tsao’s chicken at 11 AM? The breakfast of champions, indeed.

Shortly thereafter three Connecticut state troopers rolled up, where they confronted our dreadlocked friend and asked him to sit on a bench as they asked him about the situation. He refused, resisted, and cried racism, which only made the situation worse and resulted the SBD being taken away in the back of a patrol car. GB made it clear that he “hates to have to do that,” and even though I still thought that GB was a bit crazy and that the SBD was treated a bit harshly due to his race, I was reassured knowing that at least one of our two crazy guys was no longer on our bus. I boarded the bus again, happy that that unpleasantness is behind us.

And that’s when things took a turn for the worse.

Between Hartford and New Haven, the bus stalled. The product of a faulty cooling system, GB loudly informed us. Well, that would explain the liquid dripping from the ceiling. After a minute or two of idling, we start up again, on our way. Everything is fine now, right?

No. Over the next hour or two, the bus stalled and needed to pull over the side of the road a few more times. We also moved very slowly, far slower than any other vehicle on the road. GB was apoplectic. He called Fung Wah, commanding them to send another bus to meet us, assuring them that there will be “real big trouble” if they don’t. After 15 minutes of getting nowhere, GB locates a Chinese man on the bus, and asked him talk to the Fung Wah people in NYC over his cell phone. This attempt at making Fung Wah talk to “one of their own” bore no fruit, as we continued on down the highway at 30-40 miles an hour, pulling over and re-starting the bus from time to time.

GB contined to go nuts. He spent the next several hours talking in the phone non stop; to a pastor about bible passages, to the people that he was going to meet, apologizing about being late; yelling at the Fung Wah people some more, and telling us that he “blames himself” for not using his “intuition and experience to know that there was a problem back at South Station when the bus was leaking.” Everyone on the bus was quietly upset. Not GB. He was loud, walking up and down the aisle yelling at the people at Fung Wah over his cell phone some more. I began to wish that the state troopers took this guy away, also.

As for me, I kept my eyes on the road ahead of me, straining to see each green sign that we passed along the Connecticut coast into New York. Westport, Bridgeport, Greenwich, Fairfield, Stamford, Yonkers…we were getting closer and closer [Note: this was in the pre-iPhone, pre internet-on-bus era, so one actually had to check the signs as the bus went along to know where one was].

And that’s when things got worse.

We were near White Plains, NY when the bus stalled and pulled over. But it was not a normal stall. The driver could not re-start the bus. We idled on the side of 95 South, the daylight fading, so close to our destination and at the same time so very far.

GB reached his boiling point as he rambled on to me and the girl next to me. She was one of the few sane people on the bus, and I was very glad to have someone normal to have a conversation with. He informed us that Fung Wah was akin to Soviet Russia, as both were huge bureaucracies that “don’t care about anyone.” I asked him if he thought that it would be fair to characterize Fung Wah as an “evil empire,” which he interpreted as a sign of flippancy. The girl and I stared straight ahead while GB went on.

This madness continued for another hour or so. Shockingly, we had no more breakdowns all the way from White Plains down through the Bronx and over to Queens.

However, things began to get worse while we waited to go over the Manhattan bridge, which is literally right next door to the Fung Wah drop off point. Waiting in the right turning lane, the bus STALLED AGAIN. We waited through two green lights, cars behind us honking and going crazy, because the bus was unable to idle long enough during a red light without stalling. Finally, we started back up again, stalled again over the bridge, and quite literally coasted into the bus’s drop off point on Canal Street.

At this point, I was standing in the aisle, unable to wait to leave. I also noticed that the leaking fluid from before made its way to my section, leaving a residue in its wake. A few drops got on my shoes, hand, sweater, and jacket. I moved into the aisle as the bus is still moved.

Finally, we come to a complete stop. I got out as fast as I could, grabbed my suitcase from the bottom of the bus, and walked over to the Grand Street subway station where I then made my way uptown. I stopped at Ben’s kosher deli to calm down and get a corned beef sandwich before going to Penn Station to board the LIRR during the last leg of my journey home.

The entire thing was like something out of a movie. We had two crazy guys, one of whom was taken away in handcuffs because crazy guy #2 called the cops; a bus that kept breaking down, and fucking cooling fluid on my shoes. Fuck you Fung Wah, I’m taking Greyhound next time [Note: This was not the last time I took Fung Wah. I used at least 3 more times after this misadventure that I can recall].

Charitable Questions

July 10, 2011

I recently decided to stop donating to my alama mater (which will go unnamed for now). Granted, I’ve only given them $20 a year for the last three years, usually around Christmas. But the more I’ve thought about it, the less sense it makes to donate even that much. I came to this conclusion by asking myself a few questions:

Is donating to my alama mater a smart, personal financial decision?

I’m paying off student loans and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, so the answer is clearly no. Yes, donating should increase the franchise value of my school by hopefully making a small contribution to increasing its US News ranking, thereby providing me with (hopefully) better future career prospects. But the further removed from college I am, the less the name on my resume matters, and the more interest will accrue to my student loans. It seems odd to donate to my school when I am effectively paying for it every month. The answer to this question is a clear “no.”

Don’t be a selfish bastard! Don’t you want to help students who were in the same position you were a few years ago?

I have a few responses to this.

First, I am still a relatively poor recent graduate. I don’t see why I should be guilted into donating for this reason, especially given my loans.

Second, yes, donating to my college is one way to help current students. Another way is for the school itself to cut spending on shiny new buildings, assistant deans, sundry provosts, and so forth. This is analogous to taxes: I think most people would be happier to pay taxes if they thought their money was being spent efficiently, and not to enrich the lucky, undeserving, and well connected. I don’t think that my school is doing anything nefarious with the money, but the institution is certainly spending money on things that I wouldn’t.

If I may digress, it blows my mind that that a solid, reasonably highly ranked but non-ivy private school, such as Brandeis, Tufts, Rochester, Emory, etc. hasn’t decided to slash spending across the board and instead offer dirt cheap (or free) tuition to everyone. They could undercut their competitor schools and quite possibly steal talent from the Harvards and Yales of the world.

Perhaps you’re not a selfish bastard. But don’t you feel an obligation to help those that are less fortunate than yourself?

Yes, and it’s become increasingly clear that donating to a relatively wealthy, highly ranked private university with a large base of octoogenarian donors does not provide me with the most bang for my charitable buck.

You might say that a college education is necessary to get anywhere in the world, and funding a better than average school such as yours is a matter of “social justice.” True enough, although there are far better schools to donate too if your mission is to advance social justice, and they tend not to be the sorts of schools one would normally think of, as Matt Yglesias pointed out in a recent blog post:

http://thinkprogress.org/yglesias/2011/05/26/201126/harvard-is-not-a-mechanism-of-social-justice/

Community colleges too would likely be produce more social justice per dollar donated as students their tend to be disproportionably from families with less money and/or social capital.

Up until now I’ve only been thinking about helping students in the U.S. I can likely get even more return for my charitable dollars by donating to organizations in countries that are actually poor, such as Cambodia or Zimbabwe.

In addition, there are other places that I find at least as appealing to donate money to as education. I can help truly poor people on the other side of the world by donating to Oxfam and relatively poor people in my backyard by donating to a DC soup kitchen. I can also donate to places that advance causes I believe in, such as the Cato Institute, Institute for Humane Studies, Kahn Academy, MIT OpenCourseware, or the Seasteading Institute.

Maybe my thoughts will change on this over the next couple of years. For now, though, it seems to me that donating to a highly ranked private school (or a museum, foundation, etc.) is more of a high end consumption good than anything else.

Looking to 2011

January 2, 2011

Overall, 2010 was a great year. My love and professional lives are the best they’ve ever been. I’ve done more real, substantive work since starting my job in April than I did for the 13 months I spent at my first job out of school, which has been cause for both great stress and significant growth.

Although this happened in the fall of 2009, I also dealt with getting laid off and finding a new job, which to my great luck is much better than my old job. I’m glad to have had this experience earlier in life rather than later.

I discovered Thai Crossing, Belgian beers, and feel very integrated into DC. The Logan/Dupont/U Street area feels more like home than my hometown currently does, and more than Brandeis ever did.

My major regret is not making better use of my funemployment time last winter. I took a great trip to Amsterdam and London, but if I could do it again I would couch surf through Asia for a month or two.

This year I hope to spend more time doing the things that give me the greatest joy–fly fishing, golfing, reading, and writing. I’ve neglected most of those over the past year due to the rigors of my new job. I don’t have any major travels in the works other than a few trips to NYC, one to Boston, and possibly some time in Chicago. I’m going to need to shore up my personal balance sheet this year if I want to take a big international trip next year.

Here are some new year’s eve 2010 pics:

 

Times Square, 3pm.

I love Japanese desserts.

Ringing in the New Year at a house party in Bushwick/Ridgewood.

Fireworks in Ridgewood/Bushwick, ~1:00am.

On the westbound hipster express back to Manhattan.

New Year's day, West Village, looking uptown.