What Would You Do With $8 Million?

This morning at St Mary's Park, I struck up a pleasant conversation with a man, perhaps in his late twenties, about exercising. Judging from his slightly disheveled appearance, I suspect he's homeless, or at least poor. Before he left the park, he brought over a copy of a daily tabloid that he had pulled out of the trash and read me a short piece about a man who was been awarded $8 million dollars by the courts as a result of a traffic accident with a MTA bus. I didn't … [Read more...]

How to Say Hello to Strangers and Why it Feels So Good

I had dinner with my friend, Carey, the other night.  We live in the same building here in the South Bronx.  I was telling Carey about my morning walks to St. Mary's Park and how I say hello to pretty much everyone I walk by, and that they say hello back. "Oh," said Carey in response, "I'm too shy to say hello to strangers." Her response took me aback. Carey, like me, is a white woman who grew up with many unearned privileges. She is educated and successful. And I … [Read more...]

Finding Common Threads Among our Differences

Most every morning, I visit St. Mary's Park in the South Bronx where I walk and run and work out. It's a lovely park with big trees arching over a wide path and big natural rock outcroppings on the hills. A running track tucks into the back of the park with slant boards and pull up bars in its center. The park is beautifully laid out, but it's not well-maintained. Litter isn't picked up regularly. The grass is poorly cut. Weeds grow through the pavement here and there. And … [Read more...]

Was it Disrespect that Lead to the Death of Michael Brown?

I keep trying to make sense of what happened to Michael Brown on August 9, 2014. Some powerful concoction of anger, pride, racism and fear came together in an awful brew that left young Michael dead on the street. It was with thoughts about this tragedy swirling in my mind that I walked over to St. Mary's Park for my morning exercise. A Young Man Behaving Foolishly St. Mary's is a park where young and old people of many colors and languages come to exercise. People … [Read more...]