I made the move from sorabji.com to sorabji.nyc, a possibly needless flourish stemming from my decades-old fetish for solid domain names and noteworthy TLDs (Top Level Domains). .NYC is said to be available only to residents of this fine city. To me this distinguishes it from the other profligate TLDs that continue to propagate with needless relentlessness.
As I get used to the oddity of typing “.nyc” instead of “.com” I find myself actually thinking about this town and the odyssey of living here for 24 years. Is this really where I belong? Do I not owe it to myself to experience life in the rest of America?
Between routine cost of living increases and the imperatives of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) I may find myself priced out. Like some of the people featured in this story at the New York Times I could find myself paying for insurance I cannot afford to use.
“…some people — no firm data exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the high out-of-pocket costs.”
I predicted this would happen, though I didn’t think it would happen to me. I had no reason to doubt the “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” cunard, a comment I now realize was taken a bit out of context but which should never have been uttered. My prediction that some of us will be ordered to purchase insurance policies we cannot afford to use was heard mostly by those who dismissed any and all negative sentiments directed at the ACA. If I was not yelled or shouted down I was simply ignored.
The people in the Times story sound like me, although unlike them my insurance is not new. I’ve had coverage for years. I will be forced to cancel it. To maintain a similar level of coverage I will have the opportunity to pay at least 30% more while also enjoying significantly higher deductibles, monstrously higher out-of-pocket expenses, and no access to out-of-network doctors. These options available to me now will probably disappear in January. I better get sick quick!
Alas, to ACA enthusiasts and those whose livelihood depends on it I am statistically irrelevant.
It is not specific to New York but, like everything else in this town, it comes down to money. The stampede of wealth that has turned Manhattan into a bathroom break for the conspicuously rich has passed me by. My enduring disinterest in wealth locks horns (as if I have any) with today’s reality. Unlike when I moved here New York is where people come to be rich.
I have no envy for the rich. With wealth comes responsibility and scrutiny. The responsibility (as I see it, though I know others disagree) is that sources of concentrated wealth owe a debt to the society that made them that way. The wealthy, as Ted Turner might say, should feel obligated to find ways to improve their society without fleering at it. The failure of many rich people to live up to that responsibility does not erase it. If I faced the unenviable responsibility of outsized wealth I would expect to face bottomless intellectual and moral dilemmas in finding worthy recipients for investment or altruism.
After writing most of the above skimble-skamble I remembered that today happens to be the anniversary of the day I left Tampa for New York (via a pitstop in Philadelphia). I used to mark that anniversary with some kind of sentiment, and I even looked forward to it like it was some kind of birthday. I’m not sure how I feel about New York any more.
I overheard someone say that when they leave New York they feel like they are “missing the party”. I know that feeling. Maybe it’s time to find out if the party’s over.
I took an Ektachrome slide of a redheaded woman and doused it in flames.
A mystique surrounded Coors beer when I was growing up in Tampa. It could only be purchased at the Commissary at MacDill Air Force Base. This picture of a rugby player downing a can of Coors was probably taken in Colorado (where Coors is brewed) but it could also be from Canada. Looking at it makes me curious about whether closing one’s eyes while drinking a beverage is common behaviour.
Ektachrome slide showing Main Street in Cedar City, Utah, in the early to mid 1970s. Businesses visible in this image include the Melody Lane Cafe, Tri State Liquor Store, Milt’s Circus Lounge, Marsden’s Mens Shop, Sinclair Gas Station, Cedars Hotel, Phillips 66, Hugh’s Cafe, and the Cedar City Chamber Of Commerce. Beneath the white and red Hugh’s Cafe sign is a phone booth. Click the image to see a full size 4794×3247 scan that makes the detail clearer.
I wanted a .NYC web address from the moment I heard they would be available. Now I’m not so certain it was worth all that, but it’s cool.
You can only get a .NYC address if you live in the 5 boroughs of New York City. Domain name hucksters might try to game that system if the novelty of the URL gains genuine traction.
I wanted an alternative to 181.sorabji.com, which seemed clever at first but proved clumsy and unwieldy. 181 is my magic number for a variety of reasons, but it’s not worth a weird looking URL to make that point.
The proliferation of gTLDs (Generic Top Level Domains) has gotten ridiculous, but I liked the sound of .NYC. So I got it. There you go. I thought I’d have more to say about it but I do not.
Once in a while I get a slightly obsessive tic to retouch old images. This one was particularly gnarly. The touchup job could be better. I might try again. Would love for this to look like it was taken with a modern camera and printed today. The cleaned up image is first, the original is next.
Look for my pictures of Little Blue at about the 1:35 point in this 10+ minute documentary made by Earthjustice. “Little Blue – A Broken Promise” explores the “toxic nightmare” that emerged when coal ash was dumped into their community.
I first posted photos of Little Blue in 2002, and received occasional correspondence about it ever since.
Most recently I heard from Ian, a resident of Chester, who found my site and was surprised to learn that the once beautiful looking blue lake was actually a horror story in disguise.
A few weeks later I heard from Earthjustice with respect to using my old images of the lake while it was still neon-colored. I was happy to oblige and the 10+ minute film was released on YouTube in short order. Here it is: