in a perfect world of yancies: nyc

17 October 2005


well I flew in Thursday morning--in fact my flight was cancelled due to weather & there being too many planes, but they actually got me to New York sooner, which is weird but acceptable . . .

it rained all day Thursday & Friday, so when I got to Manhattan I went inside the swanky looking Columbia U. library, where Jeremy (whom I hadn't seen in like 4 years--it was great to hang out again) met me

despite the persistent rain, I did get a couple shots of the Columbia campus:

the Journalism building at Columbia (in front is the statue of J. Pulitzer--he's tiny in the photo, but a big name in journalism, as I understand it)

the Low Library, which is now administration offices, though it still looks cool

we kept things pretty simple that night--some delicious Korean food up near Columbia (Jeremy is a grad student in journalism there, which is pretty damn cool), and a few pints of Brooklyn Lager down the street

Friday got a bit more exciting--I met Jeremy's mom & her husband in the morning, then sat in the library worrying about the conference I was in town for (more on that in a sec)--in fact, I spent a good hour or so making a handout for my talk, but I was finally unable to track down a photocopier in time. In the afternoon, Jeremy smuggled me into a class in the Journalism school, which (though it may have disappointed some of the students there, used to dynamic folk like Brian Williams as they are) I found fascinating--Al Siegel, standards editor at the Times spoke & took questions for like an hour & a half. He covered the plagiarism stuff, the anonymous source stuff, presidential election coverage, and even made an attempt to defend the Times Select thing they've started . . . (for anyone who'd like more on that, I'd be happy to fill that in--just ask, baby) Perhaps a highlight was his assertion that the Times need not bring in an outsider to write about the Judith Miller/Valerie Plame to-do, since it was in the paper's own interest to be as thorough as possible, as any oversights would surely show up in other papers, causing the Times to again lose face . . . I think I can accept that reasoning: can you?

that evening was the start of the International Conference on Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at Fordham University, this giant conference covering, at least, Ancient Greek, Medieval, Islamic, and Chinese Philosophy . . .
the 'banquet' was cold-cuts and salad, but at least the people were nice & the after-dinner talks were pretty interesting

and then it was back up to Jeremy's place, where we began to celebrate his 30th birthday; mostly by 'celebrate' I mean drink lager & buy lots of it for him

Jeremy with his friend Peter (the blur on the left), deep into Jeremy's 30th b-day celebration--I think this was not long after the 'car bomb' shots . . .

So, Jeremy was kind enough to let me stay at his place, thus saving me a bunch of $, and enabling much more time to trade stories . . .

Jeremy, in his room (yes, that's all of it); you can see my 'bed' in the foreground

On Saturday, I slept in & missed the 9am session at the conference, but I did make it in time to give my paper ("Error and Eikasia: Understanding the Lowest Level of Plato's Divided Line") (I'll link that to a pdf file, if anyone's really curious . . .)
the paper seemed to go over well (& I had plenty of time to find that out, since one of the 3 presenters in my session didn't make it), though I was hoping at least one person would think that I was way wrong, since those discussions are fun
I then heard some more papers on Plato--on his Socrates' inductive method, on the duty to obey the law, and about Socrates' narrative irony--pretty good stuff

After those talks, I met up with Jeremy and some of his family & family friends at a wine bar, which was pretty fun (although the wine was from New York, which is no Napa Valley); then it was on to little italy

dinner in little italy: Doug (J's mom's husband), Jeremy, Mike and Debbie (friends of the family), and Jeremy's mom, Julie (hopefully those names are all right . . .)
I had a delicious risotto with saffron, asparagus, and shrimp . . . mmm.

after dinner, some people wanted to see Times Square

me with Jeremy in Times Square--yes, I'm small, I know . . . but what a handsome jacket!

another Times Square shot

so that Times Square might not be where my night ended, I compelled Jeremy to take me to a bar--we ended up in or near Hell's Kitchen, and got started on this economic justice vs. growth & innovation talk that kept us up until around 3:30

in the morning, I awoke at 7:30 & went back to Fordham for one last session, and I got to hear a truly beautiful talk about Plato's Philebus and Republic . . . magnificent

after some tasty Indian food, I met up with Jeremy to try to finish our debate

well, as Jeremy & I discussed economic justice outside the cathedral of St. John the Divine, in Harlem (or is it the Upper West Side? Morningside Heights? . . . in any case), this bird leapt out of the bushes . . .

a big, crazy statue outside the church. It's called the Peace Fountain, though there's no water any more. Here's a description from the travel section of the Times:
"The forces of good, embodied in the figure of the archangel Michael, triumph by decapitating Satan, whose head hangs from one side. The fountain is encircled by small, whimsical animal figures cast in bronze from pieces sculpted by children."
Notice also all the giraffes on the sculpture--I guess they're symbols of peace (?)

all told, a great visit--good philosophy, good friends, good food
and my thanks again to Jeremy, who rocks me


  1. Wow, that sounds absolutely fabulous!!! And I really want to hear more about Al Siegel and what he had to say! (by the way, I think it's your turn to call me...)

    That's so great that you could spend all that time with Jeremy... hope he didn't get sick of you, hehehe

  2. Well, I'm very, very impressed: with your paper, with how well it was received, with the mega conference, with Columbia, with Jeremy and the account of your time together -- and with your jacket!

  3. Oh, and I forgot the bird: what in the world is it?!

  4. yeah, not so sure about the bird--some sort of pheasant or peacock like thing, maybe?