Banjo. (at Washington Square Arch)
"We live in financial times."
Happy birthday @ariannahuff! (at Huffington Post)
Everyone in my family gets skin cancer.
My mother, my sister, my nana, my grandfather, even my physically undefeatable Uncle Terry have had melanoma, in various stages of development, sliced out of them at some point. I did, too. It happened when I was 13, and they cut some weirdly-shaped mole out of my back left thigh.
But no one ever learns from it. My sister tans. Uncle Terry is always out in the sun. Last week, when I went kayaking, I covered my face, neck and arms in SPF 30. But then, after my friend took his shirt off, I thought I should, too.
The rain on Independence Day gave way to a gloriously sunny weekend.
On Saturday, two friends and I hiked in Caumsett State Park, in Lloyd’s Neck, New York. A dirt road winds through two miles of woods and fields, and opens up to a secluded beach on the Long Island Sound. If you veer off to the left of the clearing where fishermen park their trucks, there’s a thin path along the rocky, brush-covered dunes that separate the beach from a cove of salty marshland.
After about half a mile, you find this ancient wooden boardwalk, slowly rotting and patched up with plywood. It’s hidden from the beach behind the nesting grounds where endangered piping plovers lay their eggs.
I used to go there as a teenager and collect shells and sea glass and be by myself. And, though an growing number of boaters (whose radios, tuned to stations playing Iggy Azalea songs, cut through the otherwise peaceful sound of lapping waves), seem to be discovering this peninsular beach, it’s still a really nice place to have a picnic. We ate watermelon salad and drank iced tea and swam until the late afternoon. It was rejuvenating.
A seal sunning itself on an island while I kayaked off Eaton’s Neck, New York.
Everyone cheered and waved after President Obama as his motorcade rolls down 34th St.
Maya Angelou was found dead Wednesday morning. She was 86.
Quotes and verses from her prose and poetry will no doubt circulate on social networks for days — and in pop culture for decades, maybe centuries — it’s worth taking a look at her thoughts on business and the economy.
Asked if education could alleviate inequality, she said:
Because of technological breakthroughs, the society will need fewer and fewer unskilled laborers. I do believe that the ways in which economies stabilize themselves will depend upon the young men and women of today, black and white, Spanish-speaking, Native American, Asian. All of you will influence the ways in which economies stabilize themselves and continue to grow. Continue to ask the question and continue to study, see what has gone on before. When King Cotton fell, what happened then? See how George Washington Carver brought in the soy bean and the peanut and stabilized the economy after slavery. You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been. So I would encourage you to see how the economy now is. See what is happening with the great corporations sending their business to Asia and to South America, and what has happened to the economy as a result.
So sudden, the bees, they came.
It would take a lot more life experience to walk a mile in my mother’s shoes, but I have definitely walked several in her pants.
I was a pretty awkward 13 year old, with pimples and some leftover baby fat that I never burned off because I never played any sports. Not that I’d been cut from any teams — my only experience with that was a Taking Back Sunday song — I just never wanted to play any. And my mother didn’t make me. Sure, my dad was a star athlete, who played soccer, lacrosse and baseball through his adolescence. But me? I was the “sensitive one,” my mother would say. Like her. And I was perfectly fine to spend my days perusing used CD stores, hooked up to a walkman or nose-deep in a book of poetry I wasn’t yet mature enough to understand.
So when I started stealing her jeans from her closet and wearing them to school, it wasn’t that surprising.
At first, she didn’t quite notice. The jeans I wore were definitely tighter than most Long Island kids’ in the early 2000s, the height of baggy cargo pants and all-things Abercrombie. The girls I talked to on MySpace — girls that I might meet at a show at the Crazy Donkey — always said how cute boys looked in tight pants. And, hey, I wore my heart on my sleeve — just above my two-dozen jelly bracelets — and my favorite band across my chest.
Eventually my mother started finding size 0 denim pants in the wash and she knew she hadn’t worn them.
Staccato saxophone and machine gun snares in Union Square at dusk. (at Union Square Ny)
Alibaba, the great bazaar of China, is going public in New York.
The Chinese tech goliath — seriously, you’d have to combine about 18 different Western companies to get something comparable — filed a prospectus on May 6 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, finally cementing its plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
It’s expected to be the largest IPO in history.
E-commerce comprises the core of its business, and 231 million people buy stuff on Alibaba sites per year. The company may be worth between $150 billion and $250 billion, placing it somewhere between Facebook ($157 billion) and Microsoft ($332 billion).
I’ve collected some here to catch you up on everything you need to know about Alibaba:
- The 28 “Lakeside Partners” who control Alibaba are anonymous and all-powerful, and have been compared to China’s Politburo.
- Alibaba.com, a segment of the overall group, was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange between 2007 - 2012, amid poor stock performance and nascent plans for an IPO.
- Now that it’s listing in New York, and mainland China’s stock exchanges in Shanghai and elsewhere mature, Hong Kong may be becoming irrelevant.
- Alibaba is huge, and has stake in many different businesses. It’d be like combining PayPal, Amazon.com, Amazon Web Services, Google Play, Android, Google Maps, JCPenney, Groupon, Dropbox, WhatsApp, Uber, eBay, Orbitz, Twitter, Kaplan, Spotify, Hulu and ING Direct.
- Yahoo owns a 23 percent stake in Alibaba, and is expected to receive $10 billion to $15 billion when it’s required to sell off about 40 percent of that in the IPO. This could be the major cash infusion the struggling California web giant needs to finally turn things around.
- Japanese banking tycoon Masayoshi Son, dubbed “the Warren Buffett of Asia,” also stands to make a killing from the $20 million his SoftBank invested in Alibaba 14 years ago.
[Image: The Economist]
Premium hugs. (at W New York - Union Square)