Articles

From the Editor 30: Lies

PANTS ON FIRE
Looking for lies and liars

I always remember the moment in the TV show Ironside, when the wily, wheelchair-bound detective played by Raymond Burr, summed up a stumbling block in his investigation of a murder. “The problem with believing what isn’t so,” he said, “is you keep asking yourself questions you can’t answer.”

From the Editor 29: Boards

CARRIED AWAY

April Fool’s Day came a day early for me this year.

March 31 began darkly. It was a rainy Thursday morning, and I was standing at the end of a line of people boarding a southbound M60 bus on Amsterdam Avenue and 122nd Street. The line moved up, the woman in front of me stepped onto the bus, and I had my hands in front of me, getting my MetroCard out of my wallet…

From the Editor 28: Recalls

SHOW TRIAL
Special sessions, special lessons

I felt like a spy. And no wonder: I was a spy. I had been talking to a shareholder who lived in a large co-op complex about a special meeting that was being staged to vote on the removal of three board members. I asked him if I could attend the meeting, to see what was going on as material for a story I was writing on special elections…

From the Editor 27: Sublets

WOULD YOU BELIEVE…?

“Hey, Tom,” my brother Pete said to me softly. “Look over there. Isn’t that Barbara Feldon?” He pointed across the crowded theater lobby at a tall woman chatting with a couple of people. Sure enough, it was “Agent 99” from a favorite TV comedy, Get Smart…

From the Editor 29: Boards

CARRIED AWAY

April Fool’s Day came a day early for me this year.

March 31 began darkly. It was a rainy Thursday morning, and I was standing at the end of a line of people boarding a southbound M60 bus on Amsterdam Avenue and 122nd Street. The line moved up, the woman in front of me stepped onto the bus, and I had my hands in front of me, getting my MetroCard out of my wallet…

From the Editor 28: Recalls

SHOW TRIAL
Special sessions, special lessons

I felt like a spy. And no wonder: I was a spy. I had been talking to a shareholder who lived in a large co-op complex about a special meeting that was being staged to vote on the removal of three board members. I asked him if I could attend the meeting, to see what was going on as material for a story I was writing on special elections…

From the Editor 27: Sublets

WOULD YOU BELIEVE…?

“Hey, Tom,” my brother Pete said to me softly. “Look over there. Isn’t that Barbara Feldon?” He pointed across the crowded theater lobby at a tall woman chatting with a couple of people. Sure enough, it was “Agent 99” from a favorite TV comedy, Get Smart…

From the Editor 26: Paranoia

On People, Policy, and Paranoia

I was on the No 1 local as it slowly pulled into the 96th Street station. There was an express train waiting across the platform. Our conductor made an announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, we will be here for some time. The express across from us will be leaving immediately. If possible, take the express.”

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From the Editor 23: Board Service

NO THANKS

I was with my boss in her car, waiting at a stop light at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue. A woman in a wheelchair was proceeding slowly across the street. The traffic light was blinking red and it didn’t look like she would make it across by the time the signal turned…

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From the Editor 22: Racket Squad, 2010

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU
Scams, Both Large and Small

Sometimes being on the board of a cooperative is like being on Racket Squad. Only baby-boomers with long memories will recall Racket Squad, a sort of Dragnet wannabe from 1950s television that supposedly re-enacted cases ripped from the police files…

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From the Editor 21: Local Laws

LOCAL LAWS GONE LOCO

Ellen Kornfeld is on a tear. “The city goes ahead and changes the elevator code in December, not giving people who have already done their budgets an opportunity to know what costs they are going to incur in terms of retrofitting things to code. You don’t find out till January or February what these things are going to cost and by then, every budget is out of whack. Nobody expected $10,000, $15,000, $17,000 in expenses to bring the elevators up to code. All the elevators are going to need new equipment because the city is changing the code.” Kornfeld, vice president at the Lovett Group, is fired up because the city keeps adding new regulations…

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From the Editor 20: Sublets

“It’s too late to say you’re sorry./How would I know, why should I care?/Please don’t bother trying to find her. She’s not there.” The old Zombies song rumbled through my head as I considered the case of the capricious cooperator…

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From the Editor 18: Tenure

GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY

It all started with a handshake.

If you’ll pardon me for getting nostalgic, this month is my 28th anniversary editing and writing for Habitat magazine. In April 1982, I was 25 and had been without a full-time job for a year or so…

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