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Friday, December 28, 2007

Grant's interest rate observer

I came across a reference to the financial writer James
Grant in some article I was reading
a few weeks ago..searched around, and came to the web site of a
newsletter he publishes:

It's for subscribers only, and I can see why..but there are a few
samples available for d/l:

Take a look..I just read the "Inside Ace Securities' Hel Trust, Series
2005-HE5" article last week. It's really worth reading--it talks about
subprime-backed CDOs in general, starting from basics, and then
dissects a one particular CDO, going through it with a guy who shorted it. And
all this was published back in Sept..2006!

I just noticed he's got this up on the website too.."what Grant's had
to say on three burning issues in credit, before the match was lit"

print those out and read them sometime..

I was reminded of all this tonight b/c I just saw that he
had an op-ed in the NYT a couple weeks ago. they had a whole page
devoted to the question of whether we're already in a recession..Grant's
answer was 'nobody knows', but his main point is a bust is necessary
after a boom, in particular in credit..and that we haven't gotten to the
bust yet:

actually that seems to be his main interest, booms and busts. after I
came across his newsletter, I went on amazon and ordered on his books:
"The Trouble With Prosperity: A Contrarian's Tale of Boom, Bust, and

I'll have to get around to reading it sooner or later..another on the
reading list/pile. he's got another one too, titled "Money of the Mind:
Borrowing and Lending in America from the Civil War to Michael Milken." he's also got a biography of Bernard Baruch, which them reminded me of
Niall Ferguson, , b/c
he's got a 2-volume history of the Rothschilds..but I'll save the
Ferguson links for a future post. that would just be a few more to add the
to list/pile.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

new mission theater

new mission theater
Originally uploaded by Aindrila
Another flickr blog, but this one not of a photo that I took, but rather of a sketch that a friend made.

Miss the Mission..

I know I took a photo of this, but not finding it in my flickr photostream. I must not have uploaded it. Will have to do so.

Monday, October 29, 2007

NYC photos

dumbo - action shot
Originally uploaded by shooGu
I've taken relatively few photos this spring/summer/fall in NYC--and from a quick look at my iPhoto library, none in the last couple months.

And of those few photos, only a couple have been graffiti shots--something I was doing more of in SF, and something that connected me to the surrounding environment of the city, I found.

Here is one of the few--an action shot, no less, taken in Dumbo in early August, as we were walking down from the F stop to the Empire-Fulton park down by the river, for that Zune live @ the bbq show.

There are some photos from that show in my flickr photostream--make your way to the 'Living for the City' set, which is where I'll continue to post what NYC shots I do take. I'll have to pick up the pace there..


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

August Wilson retrospective

I caught this small item in a NYT arts section from a couple Sundays ago, which I was finally skimming on the train this morning:

The 10 plays in AUGUST WILSON's portrait of 20th-century African-American life were written out of order. First came ''Jitney,'' set in 1977, after which Wilson bounced through the '20s, the '50s, the '10s, the '30s, the '60s, the '40s, the '80s and the '00s before ending, with ''Radio Golf,'' in the '90s.

As theatergoers who caught even a few of the plays when they were first produced quickly learned, phrases and characters echo or even recur throughout; at times it might have enhanced the understanding of Wilson's design (if not of the stories themselves, which needed no enhancement) to find, in the Playbill, genealogical tables of the sort sometimes provided in editions of sprawling fantasy novels or Greek drama.

Wilson's plays, with their magic realism and full-throated tragedy, are a bit of both. In the general introduction the 10-volume edition of ''The August Wilson Century Cycle,'' published by Theater Communications Group, John Lahr compares Wilson's aim and achievement favorably to those of Eugene O'Neill, who completed only a fraction of his intended Greek-style cycle. Wilson finished his own, just before dying in 2005, and though he suggested that his plays were primarily intended as black stories for black audiences, their presentation in this new, handsome $200 slip-cased collection -- in cold print and in their proper order -- unavoidably wrests them from that context. For all their specificity, the characters become archetypal when disembodied on the page, and thus become everyone's, to the point that Aunt Ester, King Hedley and Ma Rainey seem as fixed and eternal as Clytemnestra and her clan.

I don't know much about theater, but somehow I've been following August Wilson. Actually, I do know how--I read a profile of him in the Star Tribune. It must have been in the late 80s, when he was still living and working in St Paul.

I didn't see any of his plays til ~'96, when I saw '7 Guitars'--on Broadway, actually. Since then, I've seen 5 more--'Ma Rainey' in Dearborn, 'Joe Turner' and 'Gem of the Ocean' in SF, 'Two Trains Running' and 'Radio Golf' over the past year here in NYC. (While I'm at it, let me try to drive a bit of traffic to The HNIC Report, which had this review of the staging of Radio Golf that we went to see over the summer. More about the HNIC Report in a later post.)

'Ma Rainey' is the only I've read--I found a copy in the Ann Arbor public library, and Anj and I read through it before going to see the play. I think reading was valuable--prob no coincidence that 'Ma Rainey' is the play I've liked the best.

I also bought a copy of "Fences" from a bookseller in the East Village last winter, but haven't read it. But now it's possible to get the whole boxed set. It'd be a nice thing to have before March, when there will the chance to see all 10 within the span of a couple months! The continuation of the quote above:

Like them, too, Wilson's people will be brought back to full, dreadful life as long as humans put on plays. Catch them in March, when the Kennedy Center will offer staged readings of the whole cycle, in repertory and in order.

Don't know if I'll be able to find the time and the money to take in more than a couple of the 10 at the Kennedy Center. Here is a WP Post article about it, and here is the Kennedy Center's theater calendar--scroll down for the "August Wilson's 20th Century" listings.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

living for the city

So the pace of posts hasn't picked up since arriving in the city. I'll try for at least quick and short updates.

Weekends have been busy, but in a good way.

Last weekend, the long weekend was lots of walking, and eating, with A&C: around our area--stops at Murray's, Cookshop, Empire Diner; walks to the W Village, Union Square; around MoMA (and further up to Pierre Marclolini, and back down to Bryant Park); down lower LES for a very good dinner, then up to Ave C for Speakeasy; Wall St, Battery Park, WTC site, City Hall, and up B'way to Soho; Korean BBQ, drinks in meatpacking, Chelsea Square diner late-night; and dosai for brunch...

And the night before all that started, Anj and I took the 7 out to Flushing Meadows for a night at the US Open. Arthur Ashe was not a great experience--but seeing Calleri beat Hewitt in Louis Armstrong was.

This weekend, which really started Thurs night: I caught the last couple minutes of Junot Diaz's reading at the Union Sq B&N, then went over to Revival for a drink, back to U Sq to meet Anj, then up to Bipa for an unplanned random meal. Fri night out with Billy, first to Maritime, then down to LES. A long night which ended with a kebab on Houston St. Saturday and Sunday both started with studying on the roof, then some tennis-watching in the afternoon. Finally convinced Anj to motivate over to Ft Greene--just in time to catch the end of Kweli's set. Half-watched the women's final at Mullane's--first time back there since moving to the city! Then strolls back and forth to Atlantic-Pacific, and finally down Flatbush for a house party. Waited a while for the 2, 3, 4 or 5 at A-P--finally a 2 came which brought us all the way back to our area.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

on the road

It's been just over 5 weeks that we've been in NYC. Arrived on the island April 26, crossing the G Washington Bridge, ending a road trip that had started 4 1/2 days earlier--when we crossed the Bay Bridge, leaving SF. I-80 all the way--across California and the Sierras; across the barren landscapes of Nevada and Utah, with a stop in Salt Lake City to see my cousin at the Univ of Utah; into the plains--Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio--with plenty of rain on those plains; finally into the East--Pennsylvania, NJ, and finally Manhattan.

I had thought of bringing "On the Road" to read on the trip. Wish I had.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

My radio

Another 6 months of blog rot. What broke me out of it this time. Music again--noticed on that they've now got a widget to embed your personal radio station--hence, see to the right.

5 weeks in NYC already. More on that in coming weeks.