Category Archives: Manhattan

“Truth to Power”

If I had to name the piece of work that I am most proud of from my time at Columbia. I would tell you without a doubt that it was “Truth to Power.”

Actually, hypotheticals aside, “Truth to Power” is my proudest moment from my time at Columbia.

My partner, Evan Wexler and I, were able to spend weeks with Danny Panzella (On the right in the picture) and Craig Fitzgerald (in yellow), two New Yorkers with a real passion for the truth. You see, while the rest of us spend our weekends relaxing, brunching and soaking up the sun, these guys spend every Saturday down at Ground Zero getting the word out about their beliefs regarding what really went down on 9/11 and how this kind of thing has been happening and will continue to happen in the United States. On top of that, you can find them at just about every rally, political event or social gathering of note in New York City ready to get the word out about the truth. In their words, they are the true Patriots. None of this Fox News-Glenn Beck-Tea Party stuff. These guys are the real deal. Call them conspiracy wackos or enlightened patriots, they really don’t care until everyone has heard their message.

So, without further ado, I present “Truth to Power.”

We produced this 22-min documentary as part of Duy Linh Tu’s Multimedia Storytelling class. It was, by far, the pinnacle of my time at Columbia. I think most of the people in the class would agree. After watching mine, I would highly suggest checking out the rest of the class’ videos here.



It’s official. I’m a Master.

Photo courtesy of Alex Berg.

Sweet land of liberty

So it’s official. I’m done with J-school. Mom and Dad got in to the city and we’ve been hanging out and seeing some sights. We took the cruise out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island on Sunday.

My sister, Clare, is finishing up finals at Cornell, so they scrambled to figure out their camera phones to share the experience.

Figured it out.

Took this one for Grandma. Probably should have shaved … a month ago.

Then we headed off to Ellis Island. I would highly recommend a visit. It really puts a lot of things in perspective. We are a nation built entirely on immigrants.

The Cloisters

The Columbia Journalism School Career Fair was today. I spent all day hopping from table to table at the ringing of a bell. It was exactly what I imagine speed dating is like. I met some interesting people and had some good conversations. I’d call it a success.

After the fair, Fred and I rode up Riverside Avenue to see what The Cloisters was all about. The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of the European Middle Ages. It’s in Fort Tryon Park near the northern tip of Manhattan on a hill overlooking the Hudson River.

It was closed. So we wandered around outside.

Fred was cold.

Great view of Harlem. Cool.

Bonus Shot: The Riverside Church of New York. 122nd and Riverside Ave. I snapped this on the ride back.

MTA coverage

One of my courses this is semester is Covering Education. The focus of the class is providing coverage on the New York City public school system.

I’ve been following the plight of the MTA’s budget crisis, which will directly impact almost half of New York City’s 1.1 million public school children who rely on the free or discounted MetroCards that the MTA provides for them in order to take subways and buses to school.

You can see my coverage here.

I’ve been on Spring Break this week, essentially catching up on a semester’s worth of sleep and enjoying the sunshine, but the week before I attended a rally and hearing held at the Fashion Institute of Technology. It was the last of five public hearings the MTA held in each borough to discuss the proposed cuts in services and jobs to make up for the transportation authority’s $750 million budget gap.

Before the hearing, the transportation workers union held a large rally to show their displeasure with the upcoming cuts, which would cut jobs, shut down or reduce bus and subway lines, and end the free MetroCard program.

I spoke with Richard Jasmin, 52, a bus driver in Brooklyn (pictured above) at the rally. I asked him about the cuts to the student fares and what that meant for him. He said, for one, he’d be scared for his life because kids would “do anything to get to school.”

I don’t remember ever wanting to go to school so badly that I’d assault a bus driver. Let’s hope he was joking.

The giant inflatable rat, a union rally mainstay in NYC, was in attendance as well.

A small, but vocal group of high schoolers, mainly from Harlem, showed up to voice their displeasure over the loss of their MetroCards.

It was high security at the hearing. They even confiscated my reserve of almonds in my messenger bag.

The auditorium only held 600 people. It was filled to capacity and a steady line snaked out and down the hallway. Outside, the rally continued for the news cameras.

Inside, everyone got their two minutes to speak before the board, which included MTA chairman Jay Walder himself.

The final vote on the fate of the MTA cuts will occur on Wednesday, March 24.

Full moon

Full moon tonight (technically, it was last night.) Could have fooled me.

Snow day

We’ve been getting lots of snow in NYC lately. It started dumping halfway through Thursday and just never stopped. I rolled out of bed at 7:30 this morning. Much to my surprise, Columbia was closed. So I rolled over, turned off the alarm and fell back asleep.

Later, I ventured over to Central Park to see a fresh blanket of thick, wet and heavy snow.