Thursday, October 25, 2007

When Staph Strikes

In case you haven't heard, America is experiencing a dramatic increase in drug-resistant staph bacteria infections. The name for it is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. (MRSA for short.)

The other day my friend Peter in China sent me an article from the New York Times that explains that these infections now kill more Americans annually than AIDS, emphysema or homicide. An estimated 19,000 lives were lost in 2005 alone.

From what I understand, a good portion of us all carry staph bacteria with us with no apparent consequence. For some, however, the bacteria infects the skin and wreaks havoc, usually in the form of pimples, boils, and abscesses. It's when the the bacteria (particularly MRSA) gets further into the system that the situation gets more complicated.

Many of you may remember my several skin problems last year. From March 2006 to January of this year, I had in various regions of my body three boils, one stye, and one abcess--the last of which had to be removed surgically.

After waking up to the seriousness of my problem (and some coercion from my sister), I eventually got myself onto an antibiotic treatment. From what I can tell, my system is now clean. (And, thankfully, I didn't have MRSA.) But with the latest wave of news, I've recently learned that having been put on an antibiotic in the past now puts me at higher risk for staph infection in the future.

Why am I sharing this? Well, as the Times suggests, staph isn't just my problem, it's everyone's problem. We all need to be aware of this danger and work together to keep it from becoming an even greater danger than it already is.

Here are some tips I stole from Gothamist:

-Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily

-When antibiotics are prescribed, take the full course

-Wash your hands throughout the day with soap and water or alcohol wipes

-Never share personal items, such as towels or razors

-Keep cuts and scrapes covered with a bandage until healed

Yes, my family is OK. Thanks for your concern.

As much of Southern California is up in flames, my parents are, fortunately, safe at home. The arrow shows my neighborhood. The fires are the red dots. One of them is relatively close, but for the time being the wind is blowing it in a different direction.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Inspiration for trash divers everywhere!

This NY Times article really speaks to me. Partly because it's about a Mexican painter, but mostly because it's about digging through the trash in NYC.

One Person’s Trash Is Another Person’s Lost Masterpiece


Published: October 23, 2007

Elizabeth Gibson found a painting by Rufino Tamayo on the street four years ago. Said to be worth about $1 million, it is heading for the auction block next month.

Read the rest of the story here.

Friday, October 19, 2007


There is something I find immensely gratifying about being able to walk to a concert of choice straight from my workplace. Such was the case last summer when I got to see KEANE on a lunch break. Last night it was a new fave of mine: ARIZONA.

These guys are younger than I am, yet their sound recalls rock of the 70s-80s and the vocal style of depression-era jazz. As if that wasn't conflicting enough, their songs weave through multiple moods, tempos, and dynamics seemingly on a whim. The result is a sound that is all their own.

Check them out here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Last week I experienced my first Open House New York weekend. OHNY is an annual event where sites that are normally off-limits are opened to the public. Here's what I did:

Episcopal General Theological Seminary 175 9th Ave. @ 20th St. [Chelsea]

Occupying a full city block in Chelsea, this historic Gothic-Revival campus and well-tended grounds are NYC’s and the Episcopal Church’s oldest seminary.

Grand Lodge of the Masons
71 W. 23rd St. @ 6th Ave. [Chelsea]

The lavishly decorated rooms of the Freemasons meeting place reflect this ancient organization’s unique history and mission.

Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art
150 W. 17th St. @ 6th Ave. [Chelsea]

Once a department store, the museum devoted to the art of the Himalayas features six gallery floors wrapped around a central spiral staircase. Visitors wind their way up, exploring paintings, sculpture, textiles, ritual objects and prints spanning the 2nd to 21st centuries.

Scandinavia House
58 Park Ave. @ 37th St. [Murray Hill]

The American-Scandinavian Foundation’s cultural center has a modern sensibility that reflects Nordic design trends. The building showcases Nordic design and materials and offers art and design exhibitions, films, concerts, lectures and family programs.

Paul Rudolph Modulightor Building
246 E. 58th St. @ 2nd Ave. [Midtown]

The last NYC townhouse built by modernist Paul Rudolph is notable for its intricately interwoven horizontal and vertical spaces.

Roosevelt Island

Southpoint is the name of the empty grounds once associated with the now-abandoned John Renwick, Jr. Smallpox Hospital. Visual artist Thom Sokoloski’s installation merges image, music and ceremony in a cluster of 100 luminous 19th-century tents — inspired by the island’s social and architectural past.

Rockefeller Center Rooftop Garden
650 5th Ave. @ 50th St. [Midtown]

A rare opportunity to visit the famed garden and reflecting pool atop the British Empire Building at Rockefeller Center.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My run this morning

Discovery for the day: Ward's Island. Who knew there was a footbridge at 103rd Street?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sister-in-law Jodi meets Cousin Kristina

Cousin Kristina also comes to NYC

One of my favorite places: Freeman's Alley. I love the way Kristina poses for pictures. Nick has taught her well.

The street corner shot for the Beastie Boys 1989 album "Paul's Boutique." It looks different now with the Three Monkeys sign.