Schubin Chronicles

The last word

New York is a village. I sometimes see a customer discover at a cash register that he or she doesn’t have enough money for a purchase, promise to pay later, and get an okay to take the goods from a shopkeeper who has never seen the person before. One day this week, I bought a […]  More

Access to information

In this new era of photo-ID requests, one of the forms in my wallet is a reader identification card from the Library of Congress. It has a color photo, a signature, and a bar code leading to more information about me, and all three are covered with a special laminate that, when tilted appropriately in […]  More

Like us, they all had names

A few years ago, I was setting up a live international press conference at a theater where I often work. As usual, I was wearing a T-shirt, pepper-pattern pants, and sandals and had my usual scruffy beard. The wife of a VIP at the theater showed up. Watching others check with me about the positioning […]  More

Eight million stories

As the announcer would say at the end of each episode of the old TV series, “There are eight million stories in the Naked City.” And, because any two New Yorkers usually have at least five opinions on any given subject, I have no doubt that some of us wanted military action. One sign seen […]  More


I don’t know what’s going on in cities in Afghanistan right now. I know that the U.S. and Britain attacked today. I know what happened in New York when we were attacked on September 11. I cannot wish that on anyone. My heart goes out to any who have been injured and to the families […]  More

One month

I intended to visit “ground zero” today, but I didn’t make it. It is now hot — WAY above normal for this time of year. But it is not as hot in my neighborhood as it is at the site of the World Trade Center. Today an ironworker reported that his colleagues had this week […]  More

Who supports terrorism?

It’s getting cold again in New York. Tomorrow could be as cold as December 30, 1999, the day we were setting up for the huge Times Square 2000 celebration. Back then, a car filled with explosives had been stopped at a border crossing, and the driver said they were intended to go off during a […]  More


There has been a lot of heroic effort lately in New York. You’ve heard, of course, about the firefighters, police, emergency medical personnel, ironworkers, and others involved in the rescue efforts. But there have been many, many others. Subway workers have not only toiled day and night to get their system working but also intentionally […]  More

Reasonable doubt

Many New Yorkers in lower Manhattan are lucky this week. The odor from the World Trade Center site has been replaced, or at least augmented, by the sweet smells of palm, myrtle, river willow, and a lemon-like citrus known variously as esrog, etrog, or citron. Those are the “four species” that are used ritually in […]  More


As we were heading home from the TV truck late last night, near the Lincoln Center firehouse memorials we passed a man walking a very large horse down the sidewalk. New York is always interesting. People are very devoted to their pets in New York, and these are not just birds, cats, dogs, and fish. […]  More

What's in a name?

There is a well-read periodical in New York City called the Chelsea Clinton News. It is not devoted to the activities of the former First Daughter. Long before she was born, the newspaper had already been reporting on two adjacent New York neighborhoods: Chelsea and Clinton. Clinton was, I believe, named for a very popular […]  More