me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Where have you gone, Andrew Carnegie?

Whither the great robber barons of yesteryear? These days, we the people don't get screwed any less than in previous generations, but we're reduced to being screwed by jokes. Case in point:

The Dolan family, who own Cablevision, which owns Madison Square Garden), loudly announced last week they'd abandoned their commitment to a new arena and will be renovation MSG instead. The rejected new Garden would have been part of the redevelopment of what's now the main Post Office on 34th St., into a huge complex which would have included, as its big plus, a new, beautiful Penn Station in the big-windowed Beaux Arts post office to replace the mingy, ugly, crowded Penn Station that now sits below MSG. Which they tore down the old, beautiful Beaux Arts Penn Station in the 60's to build.

In this Clash of the Greedy, humongo real estate interests on both sides are pounding their chests and roaring. James Dolan, an arrogant rich creep, has said all along he needed a deal by this spring or he'd be forced to back out. The deal was supposed to come from Vornado and Related Companies, the two developers chosen for the PO site. It didn't come because Steve Ross and Steve Roth, more arrogant rich creeps, weren't finished squeezing the Dolans, as the Dolans were squeezing them; and no one was finished squeezing the city and the state. The outcome of this pissing contest, if MSG doesn't move, will be Vornado loses a huge job, the MTA and Amtrak lose a beautiful building, and millions of MTA and Amtrak riders lose the chance for a station that isn't ugly, doesn't stink, and where you won't get trampled on the way to your train.

But the city, the state, the MTA, and Amtrak aren't taking this lying down! No sir! On last night's news NBC "broke" this "story": an ongoing three-year dispute has kept Federal anti-terrorism dollars, already allocated, from being spent, putting millions of New Yorkers at risk. Who? Why, Penn Station travelers. What's the dispute? On whose property to locate car-bomb-proof barriers around the station, and who's going to pay for the upkeep of the gates through them. The balking party, the guy who's fault this is? Hey, it's the evil James Dolan! The aggrieved parties, the good guys trying to protect the poor endangered travelers? Oh, look -- it's Vornado, the MTA, and Amtrak!

Now, I hate James Dolan as much as any Knicks fan. But come on. First of all, I'm not sure any attempt to publicly embarrass the guy is worth the effort because he has no shame. But second, if you're going to try it, can we have something a little less transparent? It gives me a big pain to be on the same side of any argument as the MTA, the way I am here; but please, fellas, if I have to cheer for you, could you step and show, if not class which I know is too much to hope for, at least some Machiavellian wit?

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