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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street Journal’

Time Bandits

December 11, 2014 | by


The New York Historical Society’s underwhelming time capsule. Photo: New York Historical Society

If you enter the New York Historical Society by its Seventy-Seventh Street side entrance, you’ll see before you a smallish chest: a time capsule, the plaque explains, created in 1914 by the Lower Wall Street Business Men’s Association. It was supposed to have been opened in 1974, but everyone forgot about it, so the powers that be decided to wait until this year, the 400th anniversary of the New Netherland charter. In October, they opened it, and the results proved so generally underwhelming and dry—some newspapers, some charters, a few catalogs—that the New York Historical Society was inspired to make a better one.

To ensure that Capsule 2114 would be more hep and happenin’, the society asked high school students to contribute items. These include smartphones, e-readers, a Lady Gaga concert ticket, and a T-shirt that reads, SOME DUDES MARRY DUDES, GET OVER IT

The problem with any contemporary time capsule is that so much of what’s truly reflective of our culture is ephemeral, and in the literal sense. For instance, any real memorial to the second decade of this century would need to include Someecards. Described by Wired as “the Hallmark of the web,” this wildly popular company combines old-time stock images with cheeky, deadpan captions to create commentary for basically any event in modern life. Belated birthday? Cynical Valentine? Pregnancy scare? Someecards has had you covered for the past five years. As the founder told Wired, “We like to play off the minutiae of life and call attention to it in a funny way. When you’re being honest, stuff comes out that people usually don’t talk about because it’s dark, dirty, or inappropriate.” Read More »

RIP Seamus Heaney, and Other News

August 30, 2013 | by


  • Seamus Heaney has died, at the age of seventy-four.
  • The Guardian brings us a number of his inimitable recordings.
  • The Nuyorican Poets Café celebrates its fortieth birthday.
  • In yet more poetry news: Alberto Rios is Arizona’s first poet laureate.


    TPR vs. NYM: Bittersweet Victory

    July 22, 2011 | by

    Team    |1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9    Total

    TPR     |5|2|2|4|2|6|0|0|1    22
    NYM     |1|6|2|0|0|0|4|0|0    13

    A preface: on Saturday morning we played The Wall Street Journal, and in classic capitalist fashion they brought their own umpire. Suffice it to say we lost, although not that badly. (13-8 sounds about right.) We can’t all be Wendi Deng. For our sake and yours, let’s move on to Monday’s game against New York.

    Without our lovable leader Stephen Andrew Hiltner (away on official summer business) the duties of captain fell to me, which only meant making sure we had enough people at the game. This proved harder than it seemed. (A few of our regulars were out of town.) With the help of a few ringers, though, I managed to assemble the greatest softball team this side of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant squad of ’92. New York managed to stay close for a few innings, but there was no chance they could keep pace with our top-to-bottom offensive juggernaut. There weren’t any lucky bounces or close calls—we hit everything hard. The usual suspects were up to their old tricks (“Sonny” Jim Rutman hit a laser off the scoreboard for an automatic home run), and the new blood didn’t disappoint (props to Tom “Jeopardy!” Nissley and to someone known in my notes only as “The Ringer”). The only blemish on the game was when I tripped rounding third base, falling flat on my face, in what was surely the highlight of the day for the other team.

    Up 21–9 in the top of the seventh inning, we assumed New York would be eager to call it a day. It was a pleasant surprise when they insisted we play a full nine. We cruised through the last few innings, aided by a dominant pitching performance from Marco “The Barber” Roth. Former deputy editor David Wallace-Wells was conspicuously absent (perhaps he was afraid to face his formidable former colleagues). As the game ended, the rain—which had held off until then—began to fall in a most unpoetic fashion. A few of us retired to a nearby tavern where we sipped whiskey and considered the Oxford comma into the wee hours of the morning.

    In our last six games we’ve outscored our opponents by twenty-seven runs, yet we’ve won only three times. This particular win is bittersweet, both a validation of our talent and a reminder of what could have been.