When I saw Bryan Stevenson speak at Luhring Augustine Gallery in Chelsea, I cried. And I nearly cried again when I read this article in the NY Times about the museum he and his organization have opened in Montgomery, Alabama. I’ve seen a lot of great, inspiring speakers, but Bryan blew me away. Not only was he incredibly intelligent, compassionate, and hard-working, he was optimistic in the face of everything he’d seen and experienced.
The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is a lynching museum dedicated to the victims of white supremacy in America. Inspired by the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, it’s honest and brutal. But Bryan is quick to remind us that this is not about bringing America down, or making anyone feel guilty, or calling for punishment. The museum’s message is one of forgiveness and “just mercy,” saying that by acknowledging this history and giving voice to the victims, we can finally move past it. I recommend reading the article and I hope to visit the memorial in person.
Living in a place like New York has given me access to so many events like that gallery talk. I get multiple newsletters each week detailing free-to-cheap events taking place all over the city. A few weeks ago I attended an all-day conference on sustainability in fashion at Pratt, and it was completely free. The New School offers free lectures and mini-courses; museums and libraries host events; even individuals in some cases open up their homes for concerts or readings. I have not always taken advantage of this the way I should, but I’m hoping the warm weather motivates me to step up my game!
Your real estate value today is about HEAT! Heat is free for many apartments in the city (and required from October 1 to May 1). While not true for new development, older buildings generally have one boiler that heats all the apartments, so you have limited temperature control but don’t have to pay for heating oil or gas. But some old buildings are actually on steam heat. Manhattan has its own steam system, opened in 1882, that generates steam underground and sends it through pipes to heat buildings. Some 1,700 buildings are still serviced by this process, but the city is cracking down to eliminate old, cracked infrastructure, that can lead to leaks and explosions.
Maybe this isn’t a hugely interesting fact, but it’s 90 degrees in my apartment right now with the windows fully open because they forgot to turn off the heat. COME ON, GUYS! DON’T MAKE ME RUN MY A/C!