Tuesday, June 19, 2001

This won't be online that long, but for now you can check out a photo of me and Gov. Pataki that was printed in the June 15 New York Times. I was covering a tour Pataki was giving to four other GOP governors, was trying to overhear what was being said, and found myself being photographed in a frown.

The really funny bit about that little media event was, Ice-T passed the politicos on the street. Alas, they didn't bump into one another.

This past weekend was the best getaway in quite a while. My college friend Dylan Carson was running in the Mt. Washington Road Race, a 7.6 mile race up the tallest mountain in New England. So my friend Nicole Schiavi (a former co-worker) and I met up with Dyl in Manchester, N.H., camped out near the foot of the mountain and hiked up early in the morning to see him finish.

The hike was great -- neither Nicole nor I wanted to be the first to say, let's take a break, so we pushed it and made good time. (About 2 hours 45 minutes ... my shirt was soaked with sweat after 30 minutes). Seeing the race was quite a thrill ... there's a great picture of Dylan finishing here. As the T-shirt says ... it's just one hill -- 6,200 feet up. The last bit is REALLY steep.

Afterwards we all hiked down again, feasted on pasta at this great Italian place in Conway, and then Nikki and I stayed at our friend Dan and Jenn's place on the beach in Rye, N.H. ... we got to walk along the shore the next morning. All in all, a great weekend!

Thursday, June 07, 2001

You learn something new every day! I had thought for years that the Ring-around-the-Rosie rhyme referred to the Black Death, but I guess that is just an urban myth. Check out this essay.

Tuesday, June 05, 2001

My latest bit of excitement, a few days late in the telling.

On Friday, I am over in Brooklyn, outside the federal prison where Al Sharpton is being held for his role in protesting bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

I'm waiting outside the prison in this industrial neighborhood with two other reporters when, all of a sudden, there's this commotion across the street.

I run over and see this life-sized manequin hanging with its neck through a chain that descends from a giant roll-up gate on a nearby building. The manequin's feet are about 5-feet off the ground, and it is wearing a shirt with a Puerto Rican flag.

Then some correction officers are rushing over, trying to support its feet -- and I realize -- this isn't a manequin, it's a guy!

I hesitate for a moment, trying to decide whether i should try to help, take notes, or what. Then more officers rush past me, and there's no point trying to help -- I'd just be in the way.

I get on my cell phone and call the photo desk, which is really stupid because there's no way they'd get there in time. This woman is crying, "oh God, oh God, please God, save him," and the guards are working hurriedly. The man is conscious, moving his hands around, but not really resisting or helping.

Eventually the officers do manage to boost on of their own up to the guy's level, holding kinda precariously onto his feet. He gets the protester down, and he's lying on the ground crying/screaming, "I wanted to kill myself, I wanted to be with God." The only explanation he gave for wanting to kill himself was, "they made Al Sharpton cry." it was just freaky.

Sunday, June 03, 2001

I got a little publicity last week in the Village Voice. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit pleased with the mention, but I thought the sentence that talks about me was dreadfully unfair to my colleague Martin Mbugua. And for the record, I have no beef with the News regarding racial issues...