Schubin Chronicles

The most important person on earth

There has been an ongoing story in the local news. It has nothing to do with September 11, anthrax, non-citizen rights, Islam, the Middle East, firefighters, Afghanistan, or our mayor. It doesn’t even have anything to do with New York, which is why you’re unlikely to have heard of it unless you avail yourself of […]  More


Today, on the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, American survivors of that attack literally embraced some of the Japanese pilots who tried to kill them. Adjectives of “evil” and “inhuman” weren’t used. No one seemed to care what allegiances were sworn back in 1941. On October 19, Mayor Giuliani said “Pledge of […]  More

The search for intelligent life in the universe

“The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe” is a theatrical wonder. Not only is it a great play (written by Jane Wagner), but it allows Lily Tomlin — alone but for some sound effects — to fill the stage with virtual scenery, props, and characters. In one scene, you could almost swear you saw […]  More

Fickle fate

According to next week’s New Yorker cover (by Maira Kalman and Rick Meyerowitz), the place where I rode my bike today is Central Parkistan. It’s south of Notsobad, northwest of Kvetchnya, west of al-Zheimers, and north of Mooshuhadeen. The cover is called “New Yorkistan” As I was coasting the Great Hill, I passed three young […]  More

I have hope

A colleague of mine often says, “I make television; I don’t watch it.” I’m not so absolute. I don’t get to watch MUCH television, but I do watch some. I don’t often get to see commercials. That’s not because I restrict my viewing to public television. It’s more that I like to watch cable channels […]  More

New York parks

Having to share the Central Park Drive with motor vehicles has led me to think about New Yorkers’ love-hate relationship with cars in Manhattan. On the one hand, we hate them. On the other hand, we’d love to see them gone. Some New York events involve street or highway closures. They are among our best […]  More

Marx territory

The Dow Jones Industrials Average is higher now than it was on September 10. Another sign of a return to the way things were is George W. Bush talking about human embryo research. On Saturday, I participated in an annual all-day test of the Metropolitan Opera radio network. Last week we finally got back the […]  More

The author, the reader, and the listener

“Once upon a time there was a person who ended wars forever by murdering 42 Santa Clauses.” That’s the opening line of one of my favorite short stories. It’s called “The Santa Claus Murderer.” It was written by Spencer Holst. It can be found in his books “The Language of Cats” and the later collection […]  More

After "them" comes us

I went to my brother’s house in Connecticut today. His 2-1/2-year-old granddaughter was running around minimally clothed. The temperature was in the upper 60s. One of his trees is starting to bud. So, I cannot blame the weather for the chill I felt watching the first story on “60 Minutes” tonight. It was about what […]  More

Amazing Aviation

How many Americans woke this morning in a food-, alcohol-, and triptophan-induced stupor, found their furniture abnormally arranged, saw strange substances in their kitchens, and thought there had been another attack? The morning after Thanksgiving is rarely as much fun as the day before, especially if one has to go to work. Yesterday was fun […]  More

Just reward

In Central Park on Monday, we watched a red-tail hawk eating a pigeon. A crowd gathered, but, knowing we had little interest in eating raw pigeon, the hawk ignored us. It’s a bird-eat-bird world out there. Even more surprising to us than the hawk (we had recently finished reading “Red-Tails in Love,” a book about […]  More